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"Our products are still too expensive for most people", Musk wrote. "There isn't any other way".

The layoffs will affect 3,000 of the company's 45,000 workers.

Elon Musk says Tesla will need to produce more cars this year with a smaller, more efficient workforce.

Tesla will cut its full-time employees by around 7 percent, CEO Elon Musk said Friday. Up until now, the cheapest Model 3, whose base price is $35,000, has cost $44,000, he said. The good news is that the company is making a major push to produce a cheaper Model 3 - though Musk says that the Model 3 was the best-selling premium vehicle in the United States a year ago, its starting price of $44,000 is "still too expensive for most people". But electric cars of all makes remain vastly more expensive than equivalent models powered by an internal combustion engine, at a time of relatively low oil and therefore gasoline/petroleum prices. Though results for Q4 aren't quite settled yet, he says that "preliminary, unaudited results indicate that we again made a GAAP profit, be less than Q3".

Federal plug-in vehicle tax credits for Tesla buyers have also begin to wind down after Tesla sold its 200,000th auto last July. In June, Tesla dismissed 9 percent of its workforce, after misjudging how quickly it could ramp up mass-manufacture of the Model 3 - only to go on an aggressive hiring spree shortly after.

To support this new plan, Tesla plans to increase the production rate for the Model 3, especially the mid-range variant, but do it with less personnel.

Musk peppered good news throughout the letter, pointing out that 2018 was Tesla's most successful year and the Model 3 was 2018's best-selling luxury auto.

Michael Owen states his prediction for Man United v Brighton
Solskjaer is ready to check out of the Lowry, the five-star hotel in Salford, after finding another place to live in Manchester. With the news that Harry Kane of Tottenham will be out till March , United has a real chance to get back into the UCL race.

Elon Musk's recent letter to Tesla employees can be accessed here.

Earlier this month, Tesla cut the price of all its cars by $2,000 to partially offset the $3,750 reduction in the federal tax credit that took effect on January 1.

However, he said he had no choice but to reduce its global headcount by 7% as the company had grown by almost a third past year, which was "more than we can support".

In a statement to CNBC, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives notes that Tesla's global Model 3 push would likely determine the company's success in the first half of 2019.

If somebody comes and makes a better electric auto than Tesla and it's so much better than ours that we can't sell our cars and we go bankrupt, I still think that's a good thing for the world.

Shares in the vehicle manufacturer opened more than 6 percent lower as trading began in the United States on Friday.

Must wrote in the letter that Tesla is "up against massive, entrenched competitors" and must work "much harder than other manufacturers to survive while building affordable, sustainable products".