Tesla Giga Berlin supplier fears consequences of IF Metall Strike

Credit: @tobilindh/X

Earlier this month, Swedish union IF Metall stated that it was looking to stop vehicle production at Tesla Giga Berlin. The key to the union’s plan was Hydro Extrusions Vetlanda, a Swedish company that makes aluminum profiles for the Model Y crossovers that are produced at the plant. Hydro Extrusions Vetlanda is involved in a sympathy strike and blockade. 

“There will be serious disruptions in production, and that is of course the aim… Without that detail, you cannot deliver the car,” IF Metall strike general Veli-Pekka Säikkälä noted. 

Hydro Extrusions Vetlanda’s participation in the ongoing strike against Tesla is expected to start this Friday. Hydro Extrusions CEO Jonas Bjuhr, however, has some reservations. In a comment to Vetlandaposten, the executive stated that Tesla may be able to quickly replace the parts that the company produces from other suppliers. 

If this were to happen, IF Metall’s plans of shutting down Giga Berlin may not pan out. What’s more, Bjuhr noted that the strike may instead result in Swedish jobs being threatened and moving elsewhere, as noted in a CarUp report. Tesla, after all, has had time to prepare for the impending sympathy strike from Hydro Extrusions, so the electric vehicle maker may already have contingencies in place. 

“It is nothing unusual, so I am convinced that all the customers we work with have a plan for how to handle a situation when it stops,” Bjuhr noted. 

The Tesla Model Y is currently produced in three countries: the United States, China, and Germany. To deal with the upcoming sympathy strike, Tesla may end up tapping the suppliers it uses in the United States or China. 

Bjuhr noted that if Tesla replaces the Giga Berlin-made Model Y’s parts with components from non-Swedish suppliers, there is no certainty that they will be returned when the strike is over. If this happens, there might be layoffs at Hydro Extrusions Vetlanda. 

“So our wish is really that there can be a solution quickly. It is clear that we want to protect jobs in Vetlanda, jobs in Finspång, and jobs in Sweden in general. It is what is the big concern here that if it becomes long-term, it could have consequences that are greater than what we see now,” Bjuhr said. 

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Tesla Giga Berlin supplier fears consequences of IF Metall Strike
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