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An employee of Tesla has sabotaged the company’s operations by changing code in an internal product and sharing company data with third parties, chief executive Elon Musk wrote in an email to all employees, CNBC reports, quoting parts of the email.
Although the company declined to comment on the email officially, several employees confirmed they had received it and shared its full text with the news outlet.
In it, Musk says the employee had admitted to sabotaging Tesla, but the total extent of his actions is yet to be determined through an internal investigation. Musk said the employee had explained his actions with the fact he had been passed up for a promotion.
Further on in the email, Musk tells Tesla employees that “there are a long list of organizations that want Tesla to die,” going on to mention short-sellers, the oil and gas industry, and auto industry competitors. The email ends with an urge to employees to be vigilant as the company proceeds with ramping up Model 3 production to 5,000 cars weekly, as “This is when outside forces have the strongest motivation to stop us.”
There are bound to be skeptics that will treat the news as evidence that Tesla’s CEO is getting desperate in his search for reasons why the company is still behind its stated production goals. But the email, in fact, makes no mention of anything production-related.
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The Model 3 ramp-up is now priority number-one for Tesla, as thousands of pre-ordered cars have yet to be delivered and investors are increasingly worried that Tesla may not be able to stay on course and that it may fall short of production targets again.
The deadline for 5,000 Model 3s per week is end-June, and this weekend Musk unveiled a new production line built for that. This is Tesla’s third production line in Freemont, and it was built in just three weeks as the deadline for the ramp-up approaches. However, it’s not the affordable version of the Model 3 that this line is making. It’s the dual-motor version that Musk announced last month, which has a price tag of US$78,000.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.