Following reports that Gigafactory Shanghai would be taking a two-day break amidst China’s strengthening Covid restrictions, Tesla noted on Thursday that it was doing its best to keep production going at its electric vehicle factory. The two-day pause in Giga Shanghai’s operations was related in a notice that was sent both internally and to the company’s suppliers.
“We are actively cooperating with the government’s requirements for nucleic acid testing and other epidemic prevention requirements, and at the same time are doing our best to ensure production, overcoming difficulties together,” Tesla China noted.
Tesla China’s statement suggests that the electric vehicle maker is doing what it can to keep Gigafactory Shanghai operational. This is quite unsurprising considering that Tesla has come to rely more on Giga Shanghai’s capabilities over the years. From being a facility that was initially designed to cater to the local Chinese market, the Shanghai-based factory has since become into the company’s primary vehicle export hub. Today, Giga Shanghai supplies Model 3 and Model Y to territories such as Europe.
Gigafactory Shanghai has been operating around the clock, so any pauses in its operations would cost Tesla a portion of its monthly vehicle output. The facility has been producing cars at a steady pace so far, with Giga Shanghai delivering 56,515 in February, a month with only 28 days. In comparison, Tesla China was able to post wholesale numbers of 70,847 in December 2021, a month with 31 days, similar to March 2022.
While the recent surge of Covid-19 cases in China has been severe, Apple supplier Foxconn’s Shenzhen campus has been allowed to resume operations after the company adopted a system that allowed its employees to live in the facility temporarily. Tesla China’s notice to its suppliers mentioned a similar setup, suggesting that the electric vehicle maker may be looking to adopt a comparable strategy for Gigafactory Shanghai’s workers.
China has been hit with its worst Covid outbreak in two years, thanks in part to the Omicron BA.2 subvariant, which is about 30% more transmissible than the initial Omicron BA.1 strain. In Shanghai alone, authorities have advised residents to remain in their homes or workplaces for 48 hours to as long as 14 days to allow the country to conduct necessary tests and implement contact tracing.
*Quotes courtesy of Reuters.
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