Tesla is to cut its salaried workforce my around 10% over the coming three months, while increasing the number of workers paid by the hour over the longer term, company chief executive Elon Musk told the Qatar Economic Forum on Tuesday.
"A year from now, I think our headcount will be higher both in salaried and hourly" workers, but for now the headcount reduction will be 3% to 3.5%," Musk said in an interview with an editor for the Bloomberg news agency.
The company employed just under 100,000 at the start of the year. "We expect to grow our hourly workforce. We grew very fast on the salaried side, grew a little too fast in some areas," Musk said.
The main problems facing Tesla were in supply rather than in competition from rival car makers, he said. "Our constraints are much more in raw materials and being able to scale up production."
Regarding his planned purchase of Twitter, Musk said there were"unresolved matters" outstanding, including the debt and how shareholders in the social media giant would vote.
He predicted an "inevitable" economic downturn in the United States, adding: "As to whether there is a recession in the near-term, that is more likely than not."
Turning to US politics, Musk said we was "undecided" on the next presidential election but that he might put a "non-trivial" amount into a super PAC - a political action committee - backing candidates in the 2024 US presidential election.
He recently announced that he would vote Republican in future, as the Democrats had "become the party of division and hate."