Tesla fires hundreds of employees

Somewhere between 400 and 700 employees of electric-vehicle maker Tesla were fired this week after their performance reviews, according to a published report.

Those let go included engineers, managers and sales staff – just as the Palo Alto, Calif., company – led by entrepreneur Elon Musk -- prepares to release its Model 3 sedan later this month.

Word of the departures – which the company stressed were dismissals and not layoffs – first emerged through a report by the Mercury News of San Jose, Calif.

Some of those who remained employed received promotions and bonuses, and the company planned to fill the “vast majority” of the newly created vacancies, the newspaper reported.

Employees told the Mercury News that the dismissals were preceded by little or no warning.

The company said earlier in October that “production bottlenecks” had left it behind schedule for its Model 3 release, Reuters reported.

During its third quarter, the company produced 260 Model 3 sedans and delivered 220.

The Model 3, which Tesla began making in July, starts at $35,000.