Tesla Motors Breaking News: Model S to be Delayed, Unknown Number of Layoffs, Elon Musk CEO

Elon Musk photo

Straight from Tesla's New CEO
In a fairly short post on Tesla's blog, Elon Musk confirms what we posted about earlier today.

"These are extraordinary times. The global financial system has gone through the worst crisis since the Great Depression, and the effects are only beginning to wind their way through every facet of the economy. It's not an understatement to say that nearly every business will be impacted by what has unfolded in the past weeks, and this is true for Silicon Valley as well." Read on for more...New Tesla CEO
Elon is confirming that he will be replacing Ze'ev Drori as CEO, who will stay as vice-chairman. "With SpaceX now having reached orbit and about to enter its third year of profitability, I can afford to increase time allocated to Tesla."

Tesla Motors logo photo

Layoffs at Tesla Motors
Musk has not confirmed the "100 layoffs" number, but he did say that the Rochester Hills office near Detroit will be closed now that the Tesla HQ is going to San Jose.

He talks about "raising the performance bar at Tesla to a very high level" which will result in a "modest" reduction in staff.

"To be clear, this doesn't mean that the people that depart Tesla for this reason wouldn't be considered good performers at most companies — almost all would. However, I believe Tesla must adhere more closely to a special forces philosophy at this stage of its life if we aspire to become one of the great car companies of the 21st century."

Tesla's Electric Sedan: Model S
The Model S is Tesla's upcoming electric sports sedan. Musk had this to say about it:

"we are going to reduce activity on detailed production engineering, tooling and commitments to suppliers until our Department of Energy loan guarantee becomes effective.

The DOE loan guarantee will cover most of the Model S program at a very low cost of capital compared with raising equity financing in what could quaintly be described as a "bear market." The loan funding can only be drawn down after we receive environmental approval for our new 89-acre consolidated headquarters in the city of San Jose. If all goes reasonably well, we will receive that approval in Q2 next year."

This means a delay in start of production of the Model S of roughly six months to mid-2011, but it also means that they'll have more time to polish it into a better car.

Via Tesla Motors
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