Tesla CEO Elon Musk is pushing his employees to keep a startup mentality as the company grows and competition increases.
According to a memo obtained by Electrek, Musk told employees that Tesla has to be “hardcore” and that its employees have to work “faster, harder, and smarter’ than its rivals.
“Tesla has to be hardcore and demanding, not for the hell of it, but because we are fighting for a good cause against giant, entrenched competitors who just want the status quo to continue. The list of companies that want to kill Tesla is so long, I’ve lost track – a week doesn’t go by without some “Tesla Killer” article. The only way for a little company to prevail against those much larger companies is to work faster, smarter and harder,” Musk stated in the memo.
Musk is right about the number of companies jumping into the electric car space. Just about every major car company — including Ford, Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes, and more — are planning to launch an all-electric with a range of at least 200 miles per hour by 2020. What’s more, GM already launched the Bolt, its all-electric crossover, last year.
Pressure is no doubt mounting on Tesla as the company prepares to launch its first mass-market car, the Model 3, at the end of this year. However, Musk has said that the bulk of its pre-orders won’t ship until 2018.
The Model 3 will have a range of at least 215 miles per charge, start pricing at $35,000, and will be the company’s most important car yet.
To make the Model 3 a reality, Tesla has ramped up its workforce.
According to the memo, the company has grown from about 4,500 employees four years ago to more than 30,000 employees today. And as the company has expanded, it has experienced some growing pains.
Recently, the company has been criticized for conditions in its Freemont factory where its cars are manufactured.
Musk, though, has said that reports of excessive injuries were “disingenuous or outright false.” Yet, the company has acknowledged that it is working to improve conditions in the factory.
“We may have had some challenges in the past as we were learning how to become a car company, but what matters is the future and with the changes we’ve made, we now have the lowest injury rate in the industry by far,” a Tesla spokesperson told Business Insider in May. “Our goal is to have as close to zero injuries as humanly possible and to become the safest factory in the auto industry.”