Tesla reportedly has targeted around 400 job cuts at its recently troubled German gigafactory near Berlin, or about 3% of the plant’s total workforce, adding it was hoping to achieve this without forced layoffs.

Reuters reported that was less severe than group wide efforts to slash over 10% of Tesla’s more than 140,000 global employees, a response to an intensifying price war for electric vehicles that was pressuring automakers to reduce costs.

“The currently weakening sales market for electric cars is also presenting Tesla with challenges,” the company said in a statement cited by Reuters, adding talks were being held with the plant’s works council.

The company said it was hoping the cuts at Tesla’s Gruenheide site, its only gigafactory in Europe, could be achieved through a voluntary programme.

“I regret the announced job cuts at Tesla in Gruenheide very much. However, I am pleased that this will be implemented with a sense of proportion,” Joerg Steinbach, economy minister of the German state of Brandenburg, where the factory is based, was quoted by the news agency as saying.

He added the cuts were “comparatively moderate”.

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The Gruenheide site employs more than 12,000 staff and the carmaker last week said it would shed around 300 temporary workers as its global job reduction programme unfolded, Reuters said.

“It is always in our interest to operate our production as efficient as possible,” Tesla said.

Reuters noted the news about job cuts in Germany came ahead of gloomy, if not unexpected, first quarter results.