Electric sportscar maker cuts UK workforce by one fifth
31 October 2008

Tesla is laying off one fifth of the workforce at its UK hub in Hethel, where the Lotus Elise-based Roadster is built.

“We deeply regret the necessity of making redundancies at the Tesla Hethel facility,” said Don Cochrane, UK sales and marketing director at Tesla Motors. “It is in the interests of the longer-term health of the company to act prudently now.”

The electric sports car specialists, whose core operation is based in the US, has been employing around 50 people at the Hethel facility in Norfolk. At least ten will be made redundant.

Cochrane confirmed that the redundancies were due to the global economic downturn but insisted the order book for the Roadster remained strong.

Since the £90,000 Roadster was launched, 125 examples of the groundbreaking electric sports car have been ordered across Europe.

All of these are assembled at the Hethel factory at a rate of 40 vehicles per month. Tesla insists this production rate won’t be affected by the staff cutbacks.

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