Tesla lays off Singapore country manager after Elon Musk warns of global job cuts

Mr Christopher Bousigues was laid off after Tesla chief executive Elon Musk warned about reducing salaried headcount. PHOTOS: CHRISTOPHER BOUSIGUES, REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Tesla Singapore's country manager has been laid off as part of global job cuts that chief executive Elon Musk has warned about in recent weeks over worries about a coming recession.

In a LinkedIn post on Saturday, Mr Christopher Bousigues said: "Tesla announced a 10 per cent of workforce reduction. My role was chosen to be eliminated as of today.

"Am proud to have been the company's first country manager in South-east Asia, and establishing the business in Singapore."

The Straits Times has contacted Mr Bousigues for comment.

Earlier this month, Mr Musk warned Tesla employees that he could cut 10 per cent of jobs worldwide at the electric carmaker.

In an e-mail to the employees, Mr Musk said he has a "super bad feeling" about the economy and that Tesla will be reducing salaried headcount as it has become "overstaffed in many areas".

The billionaire had previously told staff to return to the workplace or leave as he warned about the risks of recession.

As at the end-2021, Tesla employed about 100,000 people worldwide, reported Reuters.

Sources with knowledge of the matter told ST that Tesla Singapore will not have a country manager after Mr Bousigues' role was chosen to be eliminated.

The plan is for Tesla's Hong Kong office to oversee operations in Singapore.

Tesla's building at Toa Payoh Lorong 8. The plan is for Tesla's Hong Kong office to oversee operations in Singapore. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Mr Bousigues, who moved to Singapore to take up the role last year, said in his post: "In the past year, the team and I built the business from the ground up, made the Model 3 a common sight in the Singapore car landscape, set up two showrooms, one service centre (that I affectionately call the Jewel of Asia), developed a network of seven superchargers across the island and successfully launched Model Y yesterday with overwhelming response."

He also thanked the people who have supported him, adding: "When something like this happens, you wonder what is the best course of action, and whether to remain discreet or even silent about it. Ultimately that is not how I am built. Transparency and honesty are non-negotiable to me, so sharing this news felt like the right thing to do with my network.

"I profoundly believe that when a door closes, a gate somewhere else opens."

Mr Bousigues also said he is likely to return to Europe since he had relocated to Singapore strictly to take up the role in Tesla. 

Data from the Land Transport Authority showed there were 924 Tesla registered last year. In the first five months of this year, Tesla registered 190 vehicles.

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