Tesla has drastically thinned the ranks of its workforce, shedding hundreds of employees even as production of the Model 3 is ramping up.

Usually when we report on job losses at an automaker, they are layoffs due to excess plant capacity. In this case, however, Tesla has taken the unusual step of firing several hundred people based on a company-wide annual performance review.

The Mercury News, a publication in San Jose, interviewed several former and current employees who estimated the mass exodus ranged somewhere between 400 and 700 people. Among the freshly jettisoned workers are production engineers, design personnel, and folks from the factory floor.

Despite the housecleaning, Tesla is still advertising hundreds of jobs in the Careers section of its website, many of them in California.

In a recent investor call, Musk said the company is concentrating on production of the Model 3, expecting to eventually build 10,000 cars a week. Yet, in a report from the Wall Street Journal, it is said that some Model 3 parts are being made by hand by workers at the Fremont facility, thanks to an assembly line that is not yet fully operational.

READ MORE: Tesla Model 3 Production Volume

Firing hundreds of people during “production hell”, a term Musk used during the investor call, may seem at odds with the current urgency at Tesla to ramp up production of the Model 3 in order to satisfy the 400,000+ customers who have placed $1000 deposits on the electric sedan. Still, Tesla is bound and determined to get Model 3 production back on track, saying they are confident of addressing the manufacturing bottleneck issues in the near-term.

On Wall Street, shares of Tesla are currently hovering around a dizzying $350USD a share, nearly double what it was one year ago. It sold for $17USD a share at its IPO in 2010.

Tesla began production of the much-anticipated Model 3 back in July. To date, they have built fewer than 300 of the sedans, short of 1500 examples projected to have been assembled by this time in the year. Including its other models, Tesla expects to make about 100,000 vehicles this year.