Exclusive: Tesla to close a dozen solar facilities in nine states - documents
LOS ANGELES/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Electric car maker Tesla Inc’s move last week to cut 9 percent of its workforce will sharply downsize the residential solar business it bought two years ago in a controversial $2.6 billion deal, according to three internal company documents and seven current and former Tesla solar employees.
The latest cuts to the division that was once SolarCity - a sales and installation company founded by two cousins of Tesla CEO Elon Musk - include closing about a dozen installation facilities, according to internal company documents, and ending a retail partnership with Home Depot Inc that the current and former employees said generated about half of its sales...
The operational closures, which have not been previously reported, raise new questions about the viability of cash-strapped Tesla’s solar business and Musk’s rationale for a merger he once called a “no brainer” - but some investors have panned as a bailout of an affiliated firm at the expense of Tesla shareholders. Before the merger, Musk had served as chairman of SolarCity’s board of directors...
Analysts questioned Tesla’s plans for the solar business in light of the latest cuts to staff and retail operations.
In effect they seem to be saying, ‘We have no strategy for selling solar,’” said Frank Gillett, an analyst at Forrester Research, adding that the SolarCity purchase “looks pretty awful right now.”
In the first quarter of this year, Tesla installed 76 megawatts of solar systems - down from SolarCity’s more than 200 MW a quarter in early 2016, when it was the leading player in the industry...
In March, a Delaware judge ruled against a Tesla motion to dismiss a lawsuit by the company’s shareholders over the SolarCity deal. The lawsuit alleged Tesla’s board of directors breached its duties to shareholders by approving the merger.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-tesl ... SKBN1JI013