Apr. 17, 2024 |

Build your dreams. On April 15, Tesla informed employees that it would be firing 10 percent of its workforce, or some 14,000 people. The cuts have come in the same month the carmaker reported an 8.5-percent decline in sales in the first quarter of 2024 from the same period last year—the company’s first drop in quarterly sales since the beginning of the pandemic, in 2020.

In February, Alice Han explored how the Chinese auto manufacturer BYD had managed to surpass Tesla as the world’s best-selling electric-vehicle brand in the last three months of 2023. In Han’s view, BYD has a number of advantages over Tesla: generous government subsidies; cheaper labor and battery costs; and an enormous Chinese market, often favoring domestic products. And yet, Han says, the company’s future—along with the EV market’s globally—is uncertain, on account of a wave of protectionist measures around the world, as well as rising competition from legacy automakers.