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Tesla's chief of engineering Doug Field has stepped down, making his extended leave of absence more permanent.

He had been at the electric car manufacturer for over five years, and was also a senior vice president at the firm.

In May, Tesla's chief executive Elon Musk reassured the public that Field's leave of absence in the run-up to a management reshuffle was only temporary, while he took some time off to "recharge and spend time with his family".

A spokesperson for Tesla issued a statement to the press in an email late last night:

After almost five years at Tesla, Doug Field is moving on. Wed like to thank Doug for his hard work over the years and for everything he has done for Tesla.

The news comes as Tesla announced that it had met its 5,000 cars per week production target for the Model 3 sedan, despite workers saying it had missed the deadline by a few hours.

The company said it had delivered 5,031 cars in the final week of its second quarter by scheduling employees to work in two 12-hour shifts every day, meaning that its production lines were running round the clock to achieve the numbers.

Read more: Tesla almost hit its Model 3 goal of 5,000 cars a week

Wall Street was less than impressed by the announcement, shorting Tesla's stock over fears the company would be unable to sustain such a production pace.

Tesla's share price rose by as much as 6.4 per cent in early trading yesterday, but sank to an eventual close of -2.3 per cent out of concern for the company's financial health if production can't keep up.

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