Tesla has an edge over other automakers during the COVID-19 crisis

The Tesla Fremont factory. (Credit: Tesla)

Detroit veteran and automotive industry legend Sandy Munro believes Tesla will rebound from the current economic crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic quicker than any other automaker. Munro shared his ideas on why he feels Tesla will emerge more reliably than any automaker during a recent interview with E for Electric’s Alex Guberman.

“Tesla, because they are vertically integrated, they’ll move up faster than someone who has tons of suppliers. And the reason for that is because every supplier is on a payroll and they all want to get going because they want to make sure they keep a paycheck,” Munro said.

Simply put, Tesla’s ability to create most of the parts of their cars in-house creates less disruption in the company’s supply chain. “You can only move as fast as whoever the slowest supplier is, and you’re only going to be as good as the worst quality supplier,” Munro added.

While Tesla does maintain some suppliers for parts like windshields, brakes, and a vehicle’s battery chiller, many other components, like car seats, are made at a separate facility that is just a couple of miles south of the Fremont factory.

It is no surprise that the coronavirus pandemic has hit the automotive industry extremely hard. Virtually every manufacturer has been forced to shut down production lines due to the ongoing spread of the virus, causing economic hardship for the companies, which has, in turn, led to layoffs and furloughing of employees to preserve cashflow. Yesterday on March 25, Reuters reported that Detroit’s “Big Three,” meaning General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Fiat Chrysler, would all extend production shutdowns into April.

Tesla announced on March 19 that shutdowns of both the Fremont production facility and New York Gigafactory, simply known as “Giga New York” would be shut down on March 23 to prevent the spread of the virus. However, Tesla is planning to begin manufacturing Medtronics brand ventilators at both the Fremont and New York factories to help with the shortening supply of the breathing devices,

Although Tesla has temporarily shut down its facility that employs 10,000 people, the company continues to deliver vehicles through an expanded set of delivery options.

Nobody truly knows when the COVID-19 virus pandemic will come to an end. Many industries, including automotive, are feeling the effects of the virus from an economic standpoint, Tesla seems to be emerging as the favorite to come out of the crisis with the most momentum. This is thanks to Tesla’s ability to manufacture many parts of its vehicles in-house.

Watch Sandy Munro’s interview with E for Electric’s Alex Guberman below.

Joey Klender: Joey has been a journalist covering electric mobility at TESLARATI since August 2019. In his time at TESLARATI, Joey has broken several big stories, including the first images of the Tesla Model S Plaid, the imminent release of the 4680 Model Y through EPA certification, and several expansions to the Lucid AMP-1 factory in Arizona, to name a few. His stories have been featured in several publications, including Yahoo! Finance, Fox News, CNET, and Seeking Alpha. In his spare time, Joey is playing golf, watching MMA, or cheering on any of his favorite sports teams, including the Baltimore Ravens and Orioles, Miami Heat, Washington Capitals, and Penn State Nittany Lions. You can get in touch with joey at joey@teslarati.com. He is also on Twitter @KlenderJoey.
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