Tesla China addresses Giga Shanghai’s reported production shutdown

Credit: Grace Tao/Weibo

Tesla China has shared a response addressing the reported shutdown of Gigafactory Shanghai’s production. The EV maker’s comments came amidst mainstream media reports claiming that Giga Shanghai has suspended production since Saturday. 

Over the weekend, Reuters noted that Gigafactory Shanghai had canceled its morning shift. The publication also claimed that the EV maker had informed all workers at the plant that they could start their break. Reuters cited an internal notice and two sources reportedly familiar with the matter as its sources of information in its report. 

In a statement to The Global Times on December 25, Tesla China noted that reports of the facility’s stop in production are not entirely accurate. Tesla China explained that Giga Shanghai’s vehicle production line would be undergoing its annual maintenance. The facility’s workshops that produce charging piles would not be halting their work as well. 

“The Shanghai plant will still maintain efficient production and excellent output in 2022. Vehicle production will be carried out as planned for the annual production line maintenance next week (that is, this week). At the same time, after a year of hard work, the workers also took a break during the maintenance period of the production line. The charging piles and other workshops have not stopped, and the media’s statement that the factory has stopped production is not entirely accurate,” Tesla China noted. 

While Tesla China’s explanation is definitely appreciated, it would not be difficult to argue that the EV maker could have handled its communications better this time around. Reports of Giga Shanghai’s alleged production halt this month have been abounding since the start of December, and back then, all Tesla China really stated was that the reports’ claims were “untrue.” It would have been quite better if Tesla China posted its full explanation once the initial reports of the production halt came out. 

In a way, the handling of Giga Shanghai’s annual production line maintenance could be seen as a rare miss for Tesla China’s communications team, which typically handles communication much better than its Western counterpart. Tesla China, for example, has managed to win the war against the social media trend of alleged Tesla “brake failure” incidents in the past. Thanks to assertive legal strategies, among others, Tesla China was able to secure apologies from both media outlets and social media influencers who pushed the “brake failure” narrative in the country. 

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Tesla China addresses Giga Shanghai’s reported production shutdown
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