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Tesla slashes jobs in China after its EV sales fall short

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
March 9, 2015
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Tesla hasn't had the easiest time selling electric cars, but things have been especially rough in China. The company has confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that it's cutting jobs in the country (180, according to the Economic Times) following slow sales. A spokesperson is adamant that the EV maker is "not just leaving," and is in it for the long haul. However, it's clear that the company has some work to do. Analysts at JL Warren Capital have learned that Chinese customers registered just 2,500 Tesla cars in the first nine months after the April 2014 launch -- a far cry from the 5,000 that Elon Musk wanted to sell in China that year.

It's not completely certain what triggered the problems, although the nature of Chinese housing may put Tesla at an inherent disadvantage. Unlike the suburbia-laden US, many Chinese people live in apartments. All the wealth in the world doesn't matter if your landlord won't let you install a charger at your parking space. That could change as the government promotes clean transportation and building owners change their minds, but there's no guarantee that this sea change will happen any time soon.

[Image credit: Tesla Motors Events, Flickr]

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