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DETROIT — The electric-car maker Tesla fired hundreds of workers this week after a series of performance reviews conducted during the biggest expansion in the company’s history.
Tesla said Friday that the dismissals were not out of the ordinary, even though they came as the automaker tries to increase the production of its first mass-market vehicle, the Model 3 sedan.
The company has been criticized for the slow pace of its early production of the new model, which has generated hundreds of thousands of deposits from prospective buyers.
Tesla built about 25,000 vehicles in the three months that ended Sept. 30, but only 260 of those were Model 3s — considerably fewer than the 1,500 it had projected. The automaker has attributed the low production rate of the new car to unexpected bottlenecks in its manufacturing system.
Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, has set aggressive targets for the expansion of its plant in Fremont, Calif., including increasing annual production volume to 500,000 vehicles from 100,000.