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Luminar Reduces Workforce by 20% and Outsources Lidar Production

ByHuey Yee Ong

May 8, 2024
Luminar Reduces Workforce by 20% and Outsources Lidar Production

Luminar Reduces Workforce by 20% and Outsources Lidar Production

Luminar, a prominent lidar technology company, has announced a significant reduction of its workforce by 20% and plans to outsource more of its lidar production to adapt to an “asset-light” business model.

This restructuring is part of Luminar’s strategy to accelerate product delivery to the market while drastically cutting costs, aiming to enhance profitability in the face of challenging capital market perceptions. The changes, which involve laying off approximately 140 employees and severing ties with most contract workers, are projected to reduce operating costs by $50 million to $65 million annually.

CEO and founder Austin Russell highlighted the dual nature of the company’s current situation: robust internal growth in technology and product development juxtaposed with difficult market perceptions. In a letter to stakeholders, Russell explained that the existing business model and cost structure, which previously facilitated the company’s leadership position, are now outdated for the company’s evolving needs.

The restructuring will also include reductions in Luminar’s global physical presence through the sub-leasing of parts or all of certain facilities. However, the company will maintain its operations at its Florida facility, which focuses on development, testing, and research and development activities.

Strengthening Industry Partnerships

In addition to internal changes, Luminar is strengthening its partnership with TPK Holding, a Taiwanese contract manufacturing firm. Recently, Luminar has started the shipment of production lidar sensors to Volvo for integration into the automaker’s new EX90 luxury SUV, marking a significant step in commercializing its technology. This deepened collaboration with TPK Holding is set to fortify Luminar’s production capabilities, as TPK has committed to an exclusive relationship with the lidar maker.

This strategic pivot to an asset-light model is aimed at aligning Luminar’s operational strategies with the evolving demands of the rapidly growing and competitive lidar industry. By focusing on core activities while leveraging external manufacturing expertise, Luminar seeks to maintain its technological edge and market leadership amid financial and operational challenges.

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Featured Image courtesy of Amanda Stronza/Getty Images for SXSW

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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