Tesla's recent decision to cut its workforce by nine percent not only sent about 4,100 workers to the unemployment line, but also placed a dark cloud on their solar panel production plans. Tesla completed its acquisition of SolarCity, the designer and manufacturer of the panels that now fall under the Tesla umbrella, last year from Elon Musk’s cousins for more than $2 billion.
However, a lack of sales and mounting debt means more than a dozen installation facilities will be closed and Tesla’s partnership with Home Depot, which sold half of their solar panels, will come to an end. These cuts to their solar panel offerings impact Tesla on a couple of levels.
First, it brings more attention to the manufacturing issues notoriously linked with the Model 3 car line. It’s safe to assume that the company’s inability to meet production goals and turn a profit is starting to impact the company on a larger scale. Also, with Musk already under scrutiny for the aforementioned issues, the failure of an acquisition that he championed certainly lends credence to his critics.
It also puts a damper on Tesla’s hopes for providing complementary, fossil-fuel independent power solutions that could be used to charge their electric cars, SUVs and semi trucks – once they’re actually made.