Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced today that the company would cut 7% of its workforce in order to cut costs as the company prepares to ramp up production and boost margins as they get closer to releasing the long-awaited $35,000 version of the Model 3. CNBC reports: Musk says Tesla faces “an extremely difficult challenge” in making their products a competitive alternative to traditional vehicles, adding that he expects Q4 profit to come in significantly lower than Q3. Five experts weigh in on whether it’s a challenge Musk and Tesla can overcome:
– Oppenheimer managing director Colin Rusch agrees with Jed Dorsheimer on Tesla’s job cuts, but isn’t bullish on what they’ll accomplish.
– Canaccord Genuity’s Jed Dorsheimer thinks the workforce cut is just fine, calling it “clean-up” after the company’s latest push to ramp up Model 3 production came with a wealth of new hires.
– “They’re certainly in a better position than they were eight or nine months ago,” says ROTH Capital’s Craig Irwin. “Where we’re going to see pressure on the stock today is the ‘copy-paste’ expectations of Q3 going through 2019 need to be reset.”
– Needham’s Raji Gil thinks that Tesla may have overestimated how many people can actually afford a high-end electric vehicle. “Clearly, in my mind, they have an issue with demand,” says Rusch, ” If you do the math, you have to conclude that 90 percent of the reservations that have been built up over the past couple of years are folks that wanted the standard battery version of the vehicle, which is $35,000.”
– Westly Group founder Steve Westly loves where Elon Musk’s company is right now, calling Tesla “the iPhone of electric vehicles,” and saying they’re well ahead of the game when it comes to a quickly-changing auto market.
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