Tesla's Woes: Loses Arbitration, Lays Off UK Workers

Tesla may have announced lay offs and was unable to raise a planned $100 million financing, but the electric car startup is still facing hurdles. Today Fisker Automotive issued a release saying that an independent arbitration between the two competing Silicon Valley-backed electric car makers has been awarded initially against Tesla. Back in April, Tesla filed suit in Superior Court in California alleging that Fisker stole design ideas and trade secrets and in June the court granted a request to send the case to arbitration.

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The suit alleged that Henrik Fisker, founder of Fisker Automotive, stole trade secrets from Tesla after doing design work on Tesla’s Model S sedan. According to the statement from Fisker, the arbitrator found that the evidence is “overwhelming” that Fisker did nothing wrong and that Tesla’s claims were “baseless.” Tesla says they disagree with the finding, but agreed that any finding would be binding. Both companies say the process won’t affect plans to deliver cars to customers.

Meanwhile across the pond, Tesla is laying off at least 10 workers at the Hethel, UK Lotus facility where the Lotus Elise-based Roadster is built, Autocar reports. This news follows layoffs back at home in San Carlos, Calif., the closing of Tesla’s Detroit-vicinity office and the reshuffling of executives. Tesla wouldn’t comment on the exact breakdown of the layoffs, but confirmed it has downsized “numerous workers” in Hethel and told us that after layoffs it will employ 315 full-time workers contractors globally, down 18 percent from 384. Update: These layoffs are all part of the same round announced in mid-October.

Image courtesy of WreckedExotics.com. The occupants of the vehicle reportedly were not seriously injured.

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