Another truckload of TuSimple workers ‘hit the road’

On Thursday, troubled NASDAQ-listed truck maker TuSimple announced that it would fire about a third of its US workforce.

Photo by Tang Jun

Photo by Tang Jun

By CHEN Xiaotong


NASDAQ-listed TuSimple, an autonomous trucking company currently under threat of a trading suspension, has announced more layoffs. The company fired a quarter of its workforce late last year.

On Thursday, the company revealed another restructuring plan for its US operations, which revolves around sacking about a third of the workforce this time.

Which side are you on?

The downsizing will only affect the US side of the business, which, by the time this is all over, will be about half its size at the end of Q3 last year. On the Asian side, TuSimple plans to expand.

The company called the layoffs “strategic adjustments,” blaming global market conditions, and expressed its commitment to compensating and assisting those who will lose their jobs.

The current reduction is expected to see about 330 employees leaving, a similar number to the previous cut. The cost is expected to reach US$13 million (90 million yuan), covering severance payments and related expenses. Savings on the salary bill could be as much as US$68 million.

Last December, the previous restructuring saw 350 employees free to seek other opportunities, constituting 25 percent of the workforce. Among the remaining 1,100 employees, 80 percent are engaged in research and development. Together, total anticipated savings will surpass US$120 million in the first year.

Serving shareholder interests

In addition to the bad news, TuSimple provided a cheery update from its subsidiaries in the Asia-Pacific region, stating that these subsidiaries best serve shareholders' interests. They have made progress through collaborations with several OEMs on commercial projects involving L4 and L2+ autonomy.

Commercial production of its TDC (TuSimple Domain Controller) will begin this year. The company showcased a perception product, the TS-Box at Shanghai Auto.

Short-sighted accounting problems

TuSimple's Chairman, CHEN Mo, stated that their focus on the perception box signifies a move to the larger passenger-vehicle market.

However, TuSimple has no plans for a dedicated passenger-vehicle department and plans to push ahead with perception. A new department will oversee perception and localization modules for both passenger and commercial vehicles.

TuSimple risks delisting from NASDAQ due to its failure to submit financial reports.