May 24, 2024

Image for article titled Elon Musk's Tesla got rid of its entire marketing team in mass layoffs

Photo: Cole Burston (Reuters)

If you were asked to name the car maker that’s having the worst week, would it take you more than a few seconds to shout out Tesla? There’s little competition right now, as the struggling automaker deals with bodged recalls, bricked Cybertrucks and plummeting new car registration. Now, the automaker is facing layoffs, with Tesla cutting its entire marketing team after just a year on the job.

After big boss Elon Musk announced last year that Tesla was going to “try a little advertising and see how it goes,” the company’s entire growth content team in the U.S. has now been dismissed, reports Bloomberg. The move follows similar job cuts across Tesla’s design team and its Californian facilities. As Bloomberg reports:

In a post on X responding to Bloomberg’s report, Musk wrote of the content team’s work: “The ads were far too generic – could’ve been any car.”

The cuts mark a pullback from Tesla’s nascent advertising initiatives. The automaker had long eschewed television, radio, print or online ads — and had built a formidable brand largely through word-of-mouth.

Investors have increasingly called on Musk to focus more on marketing as global EV sales growth has slowed and more competitors have entered the market. Tesla’s embrace of advertising has also broadly coincided with Musk’s acquisition of the company formerly known as Twitter. The social-media platform has sought to stem a sharp decline in ad revenue, driven by major brands’ unease over content moderation and Musk’s own sometimes-controversial posts.

Now, Tesla will be hoping to find new ways to draw new buyers into the brand, which is facing a raft of bad press right now. The company is this week battling an embarrassing recall for its Cybertruck flagship after accelerator pedals on the near-six-figure truck came loose. The company also canned plans for an affordable model, which could have enticed reluctant EV adopters into the fold.

A version of this article first appeared in Jalopnik’s The Morning Shift.

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