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Lidar company Luminar to lay off 20% of its workforce amid cost cutting measures

These restructuring efforts by Luminar are projected to deliver over $400 million in savings over the next five years

Luminar layoff

Lidar company Luminar has announced to downsize its workforce by 20%, equating to around 140 staff members. Luminar’s founder and chief executive officer Austin Russell underscored the necessity of realigning the company’s resources to optimize its technological prowess and ensure long-term sustainability.

“Today, we stand at the crossroads of two realities: the core of our business has never been stronger across technology, product, industrialization, and commercialization; yet at the same time the capital markets perception of our company has never been more challenging,” the billionaire founder said in a statement, while iterating the company’s transition to a more “asset-light” approach. This means outsourcing a larger portion of the production process to existing partners, like Taiwanese manufacturer TPK Holding.

This shift aims to achieve several key goals including accelerated product timelines, substantial cost reductions, and enhanced scalability. These efforts are projected to deliver over $400 million in savings over the next five years, with significant annual reductions as well. Apart from the 20% workforce reduction, most contract workers will be let go.

While these changes might seem like a step back, Luminar emphasizes that this is a strategic move for long-term success. The company remains confident in its technology and partnerships with major automakers like Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi.

“These kinds of decisions are never easy, and we’re taking steps to provide significant support for our exiting employees. At the same time, we know these are the necessary steps to best position Luminar and maximize success throughout the decade – to save the greatest number of lives, time, and money for drivers around the world,” Russell said.

Meanwhile, this news comes amidst a broader period of adjustment for the autonomous vehicle industry. Other companies like Cruise, and Aurora have also undergone workforce reductions recently.

The news further resonates with the broader layoff trend especially in the tech industry. Giants like Google, Amazon, Meta, Discord, etc. have recently announced workforce reductions, citing economic slowdowns and the need to adapt to changing market conditions.

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