Investor's Corner

Can Tesla’s two new factory openings outshine Shanghai shutdown?

Tesla production workers install seats to the structural battery pack at Gigafactory Texas. (Credit: Tesla Inc.)

Tesla’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) accomplishment of opening two new production facilities in 2022 marked a doubling in the automaker’s number of active automotive production facilities. Despite this accomplishment, which saw the company’s long-awaited Berlin and Texas Gigafactories become active with both production and deliveries, Tesla’s Gigafactory Shanghai in China was affected by a multiweek shutdown, which shuttered the automaker’s ability to continue its ramp of production toward more than 1 million units per year.

As Tesla will report its Q1 earnings later this evening, CEO Elon Musk and co. will be tasked with providing a further explanation of what consequences the automaker will see as a result of the Shanghai shutdown. The factory was Tesla’s most productive in 2021, accounting for 51.7 percent of the automaker’s deliveries in 2021. Serving the Asian-Pacific region and providing supplemental assistance across Europe as Gigafactory Berlin continues to ramp, Gigafactory Shanghai earned its place last year, fending off heavy competition in China from all directions to maintain a respectable spot as the second best-selling manufacturer, trailing only BYD, Electrive reported.

Tesla Q1 2022 earnings call: What analysts are expecting

Nevertheless, the multiweek production halt at Gigafactory Shanghai has some analysts and investors concerned about what Tesla could present this evening regarding Q2 outlook. Will Shanghai’s stoppage provide any reason for concern moving forward?

Tesla reported another record quarter in terms of vehicle deliveries for Q1 with 310,047 units. “This was an *exceptionally* difficult quarter due to supply chain interruptions & China zero Covid policy,” Musk wrote in a Tweet earlier this month. “Outstanding work by Tesla team & key suppliers saved the day.”

If Tesla was going to have to deal with the repercussions of COVID-19 once again, it was probably the perfect time from a business perspective. Despite the Shanghai facility being inoperational for several weeks, Tesla can look at Berlin and Austin to potentially pick up some of the slack early on in Q2. By the time this quarter begins to wrap up, we could likely expect both Berlin and Austin to more than make up for the three weeks lost due to the shutdown in China. Plus, Shanghai is active as of yesterday with more controlled shifts, so it is likely things could be back up to full speed within a month.

Dan Ives of Wedbush said he expects “roughly 50k units are now reduced for the June quarter for starters, given the last three weeks.”

The news of two new factory openings may not outshine Shanghai’s shutdown, but that’s for investors and the Street to determine. Tesla’s Earnings Call tonight will undoubtedly shed more light on whether Q2 2022 will be the end of the company’s record nine consecutive quarters of delivery growth.

Disclosure: Joey Klender is a TSLA Shareholder.

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Can Tesla’s two new factory openings outshine Shanghai shutdown?
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