Elon Musk’s SolarCity Announces Large Job Cuts

SolarCity, the largest rooftop solar installer in the country, is in the process of scaling back operations, which includes slashing nearly 20 percent of its employees.

Tesla founder Elon Musk bought SolarCity from his first cousins last November 21, and the company reported $131.4 million in revenue for the quarter. But in a regulatory filing earlier this week, SolarCity reported having a little more than 12,000 employees, down from more than 15,000 in February of 2016.  The lost jobs are in installations, manufacturing, sales and marketing, and operations.  There are also reports that SolarCity cut 550 jobs just before Musk bought the company.

SolarCity grew thanks to no money down financing for solar installations.  Now it will focus on cash sales as a way to improve the bottom line immediately.  It hoped to have more than 1 million customers by the end of 2018, but is now moving away from that projection.  Still, the Associated Press reports solar roof production is expected in the second half of the year, and Tesla says it’s on track to generate $500 million in cash by 2019 in its energy generation and storage businesses. Tesla said it plans to reduce costs to solar customers by cutting advertising spending, shifting away from leasing solar systems, and selling solar cells in Tesla stores.

The filing says SolarCity cut marketing expenses by 3% last year as a way to save money.


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