Tesla CEO Elon Musk has a “super bad feeling” about the economy and wants to cut about 10 percent of jobs at the electric carmaker, he said in an email to executives seen by Reuters.
The message came two days after the world’s richest man told employees to return to the workplace or leave the company.
Tesla employed around 100,000 people in the company and its subsidiaries at the end of 2021, according to its annual SEC filing. The company was not immediately available for comment.
Musk’s stark warning of a potential recession and the knock-on effect for automakers is the most direct and high-profile forecast of its kind in the industry.
While concerns about the risk of a recession have grown, demand for Tesla cars and other electric vehicles has remained strong and many of the traditional indicators of a downturn—including increasing dealer inventories in the United States—have not materialized.
But Tesla has struggled to restart production at its Shanghai factory after COVID-19 lockdowns forced costly outages at the plant.
Musk’s gloomy outlook echoes recent comments from executives including JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon and Goldman Sachs President John Waldron.
A “hurricane is right out there down the road coming our way,” Dimon said this week.
Inflation in the United States is hovering at 40-year highs and has caused a jump in the cost of living for Americans, while the Federal Reserve faces the difficult task of dampening demand enough to curb inflation while not causing a recession.