Tesla’s workforce expansion at Giga Shanghai will grow ‘new model’ line by 50%

Tesla’s workforce expansion at Gigafactory Shanghai in China will grow the electric automaker’s “new model production area” by 50%, from 6,000 to 9,000 employees. When the expansion plan is complete, Tesla will employ 19,000 workers at the facility.

In November, Tesla Gigafactory Shanghai underwent an Environmental Impact Assessment, which requires a company to investigate the effect of projects on communities and the environment before starting construction or expansions. Tesla’s November 2021 EIA report revealed that 19,000 employees would eventually work in the factory after expanding production lines to accommodate increased production rates. In November, Gigafactory Shanghai achieved a run rate of 652,000 units based on October delivery and production figures. In December, the run rate still reached 635,000 units, which is considerably higher than the ~450,000 units Tesla lists as the official production capacity of the facility.

The November EIA report showed that Tesla would be expanding employment figures at the Shanghai manufacturing facility, but where it would happen in the factory was not determined. However, new discoveries in Tesla’s 636-page report show that 3,000 of the projected 4,000 new employees that will work at the plant will be used for the “new model line,” which is assumed to be the Model Y, as it is the newest vehicle at the plant, and already has a substantial workforce operating its manufacturing processes.

Tesla wrote in its EIA (via TroyTeslike on Twitter):

“According to the corporate plan, this time […] the production area has added 1,000 new employees, the new model production area has approximately 3,000 new employees, and […] the new model production area has a labor force of approximately 6,000. After the implementation of this project, it will increase to 9,000 people, and 19,000 employees in the whole factory.”

Tesla Model Y production at Giga Shanghai. (Credit: Tesla)

Tesla has been rumored to be developing a $25,000, more traditional compact EV that would be released in China, and its development is supposedly taking place at Gigafactory Shanghai’s new Research & Development Center within the complex. However, it is unlikely that Tesla would expand the R&D of this rumored vehicle to 9,000 people, so it is more likely than anything that the expansion is pointing toward the Model Y production lines.

The expansion project began in December and is expected to be completed by April 2022. Tesla plans to spend ¥85 million ($13 million) of its RMB ¥1.2 billion investment in environmental protection measures at Gigafactory Shanghai. The full EIA is available here.

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Joey Klender

Transportation Writer | Penn State Alum | Future World Series of Poker Bracelet Holder 🚀 🛰 ☀️ 🚘 🧠 🕳

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