TuSimple Abandons US Operations, Shifting Focus To Asia


TuSimple, once the leading developer of self-driving trucks in the United States, is facing a significant setback as it exits the country and shifts its focus to the Asia-Pacific region. The company’s decision comes in the wake of internal controversies and the loss of a crucial partnership with truck manufacturer Navistar.

Key Takeaway

TuSimple, the former leading developer of self-driving trucks in the U.S., is abandoning its operations in the country and shifting its focus to the Asia-Pacific region. This comes after the loss of a vital partnership and internal controversies. As a result, the majority of TuSimple’s U.S. workforce will be laid off, with remaining employees aiding in the wind-down and asset sale. The move leaves only a few self-driving truck companies in the U.S., highlighting the challenges faced by the industry.

Major Workforce Reduction and Asset Sale

In a recent regulatory filing, TuSimple announced that it will be laying off the majority of its U.S. workforce and selling off assets as part of its exit strategy. Approximately 150 U.S. workers, accounting for 75% of the staff in the country, will be affected by the layoffs. The remaining 50 employees will assist in winding down TuSimple’s U.S. operations and facilitating the company’s transition to the Asia-Pacific region.

Following the completion of the restructuring, TuSimple will have around 700 full-time employees worldwide.

A Shrinking Landscape for Self-Driving Truck Companies

TuSimple’s departure leaves only a handful of self-driving truck companies operating in the United States, including Aurora and Kodiak Robotics. This setback for the industry underscores the challenges faced by companies in this sector.

Struggles and Reversals

Just a year ago, TuSimple was pursuing a different path, grappling with internal shakeups and the loss of its partnership with Navistar for co-developing autonomous trucks. Following the partnership’s dissolution, the company proceeded to lay off approximately 25% of its staff.

However, TuSimple changed its course six months later, choosing to double down on its operations in China and Japan while exploring options to sell its U.S. business. Previously staunch in its identity as an American company, TuSimple, founded by a team from China, made a strategic shift and focused its efforts on the Asian market.

Restructuring Costs

As part of its restructuring plan, TuSimple expects to incur one-time charges amounting to approximately $7 million to $8 million. These costs will mainly cover severance payments, employee benefits, and related expenses. The company anticipates that the majority of these restructuring charges will be recorded in the fourth quarter of 2023.

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