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The front hood logo on a 2018 Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle.

MIKE BLAKE/Reuters

Electric car maker Tesla Inc. is laying off about 3,600 white-collar workers as it slashes costs in an effort to become profitable.

CEO Elon Musk says in an e-mail to workers Tuesday that the cuts amount to about 9 per cent of the company’s work force of 40,000.

The company did not say how much money the cuts would save.

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The move will not affect factory workers as Tesla continues to ramp up production of its lower-priced Model 3 compact car.

Musk says the company is motivated by turning a profit. The company has not posted an annual profit in its 15 years of business.

Musk says Tesla is making the move now so it never has to do it again. He says there’s still a significant need for additional production workers.

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