It's possible this was a strategic move on Musk's part to reaffirm to workers and critics alike that he's still optimistic about the future of the company - an important signal as Tesla works to hit crucial production targets of its next-generation Model 3 electric vehicle.
Tesla's AutoPilot engineers have been pushing out updates to make sure drivers pay attention to the road when using the driver assistance system.
In a tweet published Wednesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that his company plans to change the Autopilot "screen alert to clarify that we mean 'slight up or downward force on the wheel, '" meaning that simply touching the wheel would not dismiss the notification. The company has not posted an annual profit in its 15 years of business.
Tesla would not say how much money the layoffs would save, but said no factory workers would be affected as the company continues to ramp up production of its lower-priced Model 3 compact auto.
"What drives us is our mission to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable, clean energy, but we will never achieve that mission unless we eventually demonstrate that we can be sustainably profitable", Musk wrote.
That said, Musk claims Tesla will soon be rolling out yet another update created to help users avoid the alerts entirely.
Prior to these purchases, Musk owned 33.7 million shares of Tesla, about 19.8% of the company.
Tesla has been trying to hit a 5000 per week production target for its Model 3 sedan after facing initial production hiccups. A majority of Tesla employees working at Home Depot will get offers to work in Tesla's own stores.
Efraim Levy, analyst at CFRA Research says that profitability is just around the corner but it may not last long. "A focus on "getting lean" is a positive with respect to Tesla's guidance for achieving consolidated profitability in 2018, in our view", he wrote. It can easily top $50,000 with options.