Tesla cuts jobs after weak China sales

This Tesla just went 'insane'
This Tesla just went 'insane'

Tesla just can't catch a break in China.

The company has suffered through a trademark dispute, and still faces an uphill battle convincing Chinese consumers to switch to electric cars.

Now, after disappointing sales in China, the firm is scaling back its staff.

Tesla has been cutting jobs since early this year as part of a larger restructuring plan, said spokesman Gary Tao. Much of that has already taken place, and Tao described the current team as "strong and steady."

He also said that it's normal for people to come and go in companies, and declined to confirm a Chinese media report that Tesla was eliminating 180 jobs, or 30% of its workforce.

Related: Tesla's Chinese sales hit a rough patch

Tesla (TSLA) has set high goals for the China market, aiming to sell 500,000 cars a year by 2025. The company also wants to build a factory in China in the next few years.

CEO Elon Musk said in January that China sales were weak because "there was a misconception that charging was difficult." The main issue was that urban residents -- who don't always have access to a private family garage like in the U.S. -- thought they wouldn't be able to have a charger at home.

Tesla has invested many resources into building charging stations, and has plans to construct hundreds in China.

Tesla's Model S sedan costs around $115,000 in China. The car first went on sale there in the summer of 2013.

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