Tesla’s Giga Shanghai went back online following a temporary shutdown ordered by the Chinese government due to the coronavirus outbreak.
On Monday morning local China time, about 40 shuttle buses took employees to work at the car factory in the Pudong Xinqu district of Shanghai, according to a report by Japanese publication The Asahi Shimbun.
“Employees who have returned from outside the city cannot come to work because they are required to be quarantined for 14 days. Those who came to work today are only a portion of the employees who do not need to be quarantined,” said a driver of one of the Tesla shuttle buses. On a usual day, about 100 shuttle buses take workers to the Tesla car factory.
Tesla China’s VP for external affairs Tao Lin posted some safety reminders for Tesla China employees returning to work today on local social media platform Weibo. “Protect yourself and others and travel safely,” she wrote.
Tao Lin’s post included an infographic that encouraged Tesla workers to travel by car and to take necessary precautions such as wearing a mask and disinfecting surfaces while and after riding a vehicle with others. Tesla also reminded workers to wash their hands frequently.
On Saturday, the Shanghai local government coordinated with Tesla and other businesses in the city and promised to extend support so factories can restart production.
“In view of the practical difficulties key manufacturing firms including Tesla have faced in resuming production, we will coordinate to make all efforts to help companies resume production as soon as possible,” a spokesman for the Shanghai municipal government said during a press conference.
Tesla’s battery supplier LG Chem also announced Friday that it will partly resume operations on Monday. Daimler and Ford Motor said the same. Meanwhile, BMW announced last week that it will resume production in China on Feb. 17.
While there are expected delays in the delivery of the Made-in-China Model 3, the California-based carmaker explained that it is not worried about the financial hit the outbreak may bring to the company, as the China-made vehicle only represents a small fraction of its profits, at least for now. Giga Shanghai has a current run rate of 3,000 units per week and is expected to churn out 150,000 vehicles per year.
With Shanghai and the rest of China try to return some sense of normalcy while battling the coronavirus scare, the Chinese government eased travel restrictions to help offices and factories to do some work amid the epidemic that has so far killed more than 900 people and has spread to 27 countries.