Apple laid off 200 people from its self-driving car unit Project Titan
- Apple has laid off 200 people from its secretive self-driving car division Project Titan, CNBC reported.
- Business Insider has contacted Apple for clarification.
- Apple's Project Titan has been going since 2014, although the actual details of what it's up to are hazy.
- The firm was initially thought to be working on an electric car, but senior hires in 2016 signalled that it had shifted to developing software for self-driving cars.
- In 2018, news emerged that Apple was testing self-driving cars in California, but CEO Tim Cook indicated in interviews that the firm was more focused on autonomous vehicle software.
- Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced earlier this month that the company was laying off more than 3,000 employees.
- Business Insider contacted Apple to ask whether it planned to employ any of the ex-Tesla workers.
You CAN secure your IP with Cisco GPU accelerated virtualization
- You know Cisco as the leading provider of world class, robust, secure, application aware, intent-based networking.
- Did you know that the Cisco Data Center Business Unit extends that leadership into application delivery and data security?
- Our Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) and Cisco HyperFlex hyperconverged platforms are tightly integrated with Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and Cisco Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA), the foundational components of our intent-based networks.
- By running these high-performance graphics applications on virtual machines in your data centers, you can ensure that your IP stays there.
- By deploying professional graphics applications on Cisco UCS and Cisco HyperFlex with NVIDIA’s latest Tesla T4 GPUs and Quadro vDWS, you can rest assured that your front door will never be left unlocked or unguarded.
- We are announcing orderability of Cisco UCS C-Series servers with NVIDIA Tesla T4 GPUs at Cisco Live Barcelona.
Ex-Tesla employees describe the abrupt way they were laid off and say questions linger
- Tesla had expanded its workforce by 30% in 2018 as it ramped up production of its Model 3 sedan, CEO Elon Musk said in an email to employees on Friday, and he suggested this round of layoffs was necessary for Tesla to become consistently profitable while introducing lower-priced vehicles like the long-awaited $35,000 version of the Model 3.
- Overall, the delivery employee said he enjoyed his time at Tesla, especially the camaraderie with his coworkers, but he didn't feel that same bond with his managers and sometimes felt pressure to work long hours with no advance notice.
- A delivery experience specialist who was let go told Business Insider that this round of layoffs was just another one of Tesla's big "purges." They happened every six months or so at the company, she said.
Tesla Shares Drop on News of Production Cuts for Model S and Model X Crossovers
- Tesla is reducing production of Model S sedans and Model X crossovers, adding to concerns about demand for the electric-car maker’s higher-priced and more profitable vehicles.
- The decision was linked to Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk’s pronouncement earlier this month that the company would stop accepting orders for entry-level versions of the Model S and Model X starting Jan. 14.
- The CEO said the dismissals are necessary because the company still makes vehicles that are too expensive for most people and its profitability will come under pressure as deliveries of lower-priced Model 3 sedans ramp up.
- Tesla shares dropped 4.3% at 3:16 p.m. in New York trading after earlier sinking as much as 5.8% to $281.69, the lowest intraday price since Oct. 23.
- Earlier this month, Tesla cut prices on all models by $2,000 to partially offset a reduction in the federal tax credit for its vehicles.
Tesla has shrunk its Model S and X production hours in order to focus on the Model 3
- Tesla has cut down on its production hours for Model S and Model X vehicles, Bloomberg News first reported Wednesday, stemming from its layoff of more than 3,000 employees on Friday.
- The shorter hours come after the company nixed the 75 kWh versions of the cars — up to $15,000 cheaper — that were previously available to buyers, Elon Musk tweeted on January 9.
- A Tesla spokesperson said the shrinking of production hours is part of a streamlining effort that will allow it to become more efficient and put more focus into building the Model 3.
- Tesla's stock price sank as much as five percent immediately following the news.
- The company is expected to report its fourth-quarter earnings next week, though it has not yet confirmed a date for that release.
- Get the latest Tesla stock price here.
Tesla slashed Model S and X staff in recent layoffs
- These people also said that Tesla has suspended night time production of its Model S sedans and Model X SUVs at its Fremont, California car plant.
- These people noted that full-time equivalent hourly workers let go by Tesla received different packages, and in the recent layoff, some were only granted two weeks' pay.
- This person also said that in recent weeks, Tesla moved a handful of workers from the group that makes Model S sedans and Model X SUVs in Fremont into new shifts, or new positions involved in Model 3 production or logistics.
- A current employee said that Fremont factory workers were in the dark about the company's broader strategy, but felt it was clear Tesla wouldn't be able to cut costs massively, or cram a new Model Y line inside of that plant while also making the same volume of S, X and Model 3's there.
RBC downgrades Tesla, says profits may have peaked
- Tesla Inc.’s current valuation already considers overly lofty expectations, with at least one-third of the share price reflecting an “Elon premium,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Joseph Spak wrote in a note to clients.
- Spak downgraded Tesla to underperform from sector perform, saying the challenges of the scaling up and delivering a large volume of cars at high prices and margins are coming to a head.
- Commentary from Tesla’s recent 8-K suggests the company is now, or soon, fulfilling the high-end demand in Europe and Asia.
- “While the strategy of fulfilling the high end to bring cost down for the low end had good intentions, we believe Tesla underestimated the cost curves and manufacturing side of the equation.” Spak notes that 34 months after Tesla offering the promise of a $35,000 Model 3, the car still does not exist and Tesla admits they can’t make it profitably.
Tesla is 'waking up' from its Model 3 dream (TSLA)
- Tesla has long promised its Model 3 sedan would be a vehicle for the masses, at a price point more affordable than its luxury cars.
- Last week, CEO Elon Musk said the company would lay off approximately 7% of its staff — around 3,000 employees — due specifically to pressure on profits and the Model 3's production challenges.
- Wall Street has, largely, not responded in kind, and on Tuesday another firm said it was lowering its rating on Tesla shares.
- In addition to slapping an "underperform" rating on the stock, Spak slashed his price target from $290 to $245 per share, implying a drop of nearly 17% from current levels.
- On Monday, Goldman Sachs analysts led by David Tamberrino reiterated the firm's bearish 12-month price target of $225 a share and "sell" rating.
Tesla is slashing thousands of jobs because its cars are still too expensive
- The electric carmaker announced layoffs of seven percent of its workforce on Friday morning and CEO Elon Musk laid blame on a pursuit of profitability as well as a reduction — and eventual elimination — of US tax credits for electric vehicles that will effectively result in new Tesla owners paying more for the cars.
- Musk often tries to frame the challenges at Tesla not as ones of a corporate giant attempting to sell luxury vehicles, but as a benevolent entity trying to save the world.
- Tesla’s stock was trading down 9 percent on the news Friday morning.
- Plus: Zynga founder Mark Pincus is raising $700 million for a new fund; Apple Pay holdouts Taco Bell and Target get with the mobile payments program; Lady Gaga is officially an Oscar-nominated actress.
- Fried says tech startups are addicted to raising and spending money, and the VC funding cycle is to blame.
Tesla downgrade by RBC means more analysts on Wall Street have 'sell' ratings than 'buy' on stock
- Tesla was downgraded to underperform by RBC Capital, which said that the electric car maker has finally started to give some straight talk to investors about its future growth, but many are still not listening because they are still too enthralled by the company's founder and CEO Elon Musk.
- In the latest round of cost-cutting measures, Tesla said last week that it would cut 7 percent of its workforce and discontinue production of some other models to focus on the Model 3.
- Musk also said that the company likely achieved a "tiny profit" in the fourth quarter.
- With Spak's rating change to underperform (the equivalent of a sell), there are now more analysts on Wall Street that say sell Tesla, than buy it.
- Eight analysts say "buy," seven say "hold" and nine now say "sell," according to TipRanks.com.