Tesla Doubled Its Employee Count In 2014


Tesla HQ

Tesla HQ


According to Tesla’s 2014 Annual Report  in which the automaker discloses information (mostly risk factors), the automaker nearly double its staff count in 2014 by going from 5,859 in 2014 to 10,161 employees by the end of 2014.

As The Wall Street Journal reports:

“Tesla’s efforts to grow to 500,000 sales in just a few years from 33,000 in 2014, is behind the surge in hiring. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based maker of luxury electric vehicles increased its selling, general and administrative to $603.7 million in 2014, more than doubling it from $285.6 million a year earlier. That spike could largely be explained by the increased number of workers. In addition, its spending on research and development jumped to $464.7 million from $232 million in 2013.”

A few other highlights from the Annual Report include:

Capital spending will increase significantly to $1.5 billion in the year

$300 million of the $1.5 billion will be for the Gigafactory

In terms of advertising/marketing, Tesla spent $48.9 million in 2014 (which is still very marginal at best), up from $9 million in 2013 and just $3.9 million in 2012.  Much of this spending is on ride & drive events, hosted in cities around the world.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Categories: Tesla


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11 Comments on "Tesla Doubled Its Employee Count In 2014"

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That is a hell of a workforce increase. That is OK if they show same ability to slash worforce if odds turn around.

Well I’d rather say that is OK if they can keep demand ramping so those folks have plenty to do in the future. With the ambitious schedule of things to do on their list I hope they double it again in a year because of demand continuing to ramp up from Model X success.

Spoken like a true corporate Nazi.

Is there a special medical clinic where they send high-powered corporate executives to surgically remove their souls?

Fortunately, Elon Musk still seems to have his, despite the fact that he did fire about 10% of Tesla’s workforce after he took over the company. Unlike PVH, I doubt Musk sees doing that as a virtue.

Between launching the D, increasing Model S production, tooling up for the Model X, deploying more superchargers, building the gigafactory, and designing the Model 3 . . . Tesla has a LOT of projects going on.

I guess demand must be slowing down. :\

To me they could use their workforce better. I mean whats the point of for example having about 15 stores and service points in Germany to sale only about 30-50 model S per month. Same with huge big superchargers network in Europe that is mostly used once a year by Norwegians Tesla owners who go down south. How expensive can it be to maintain such a large network for so little use. Those resources should be reallocated to the USA, build their strenght home and then conquer the rest of the world once their brand is strongly established & profitable. They went the other way around and my impression is that it will have a cost that will start to show in quarterly reports.

Better customer service means Tesla needs to have real live employees doing things, and not for example having a robot answer the phone. Tesla has gotten top marks for quality care in their service department, and you don’t do that by penny-pinching on salaries.

However, that said, one engineer who seems to know what he’s talking about says that Tesla isn’t as efficient at automating their assembly plant as auto makers with more experience. So that’s one area where Tesla may be able to increase the efficiency of their workforce. Given the plans for continual expansion over the next several years, I would hope most of that will be accomplished by moving existing employees to different positions, rather than laying them off.

Re the geo markets question, it’s a tough one… I worked years ago at a Wireless ISP/SW company which tried to expand into Europe before they got the US business model straight or the products working reasonably well, and it was a disaster.
However, I think Tesla may be doing the right thing here. Note they are expanding little effort on other markets other than the US and Europe for now.
They do need to be established with significant mindshare before they start trying to sell the high-volume Model 3 2-3 years from now. They already have that in the US, but not in Europe, and they won’t get there without selling cars in Europe

Go Tesla Go

Wonder if that includes the employees they fired in China!