Tesla said it would ramp up production at its Shanghai plant to 2,600 cars a day starting May 16

Tesla is aiming to ramp up production at its Shanghai plant to 2,600 cars a day starting May 16, an internal Reuters memo said, as it tries to get production back to levels before the city closes Control of COVID-19 is locked.

Tesla, which now runs just one shift, plans to add more at its Shanghai plant starting May 16 to meet the target, the memo verified by Reuters showed.

According to Reuters calculations, this would bring weekly production to 16,900 vehicles based on Tesla’s established workweek at the plant.

It would also mean a return to production levels at the plant before the Shanghai lockdown in late March forced the company to halt work there.

Tesla declined immediate comment.

Before the lockdown, Tesla worked three shifts at the Shanghai plant. The factory, which makes Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y, reopened on April 19 after a 22-day shutdown, the longest since the site opened in late 2019.

The lockdown in Shanghai has also been a challenge for Tesla and other manufacturers, as it’s complicated to get parts from suppliers.

In one example, Aptiv, which supplies wiring harnesses for Tesla, was unable to resume production in mid-April and there were concerns it could impact the automaker’s production, according to a person familiar with the matter.

However, Tesla managed to secure wiring harnesses from other suppliers, and Aptiv received approval from authorities to resume production in late April, the person said.

Aptiv did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The suspension of Tesla’s Shanghai plant has been one of the most striking consequences of China’s measures to control its largest COVID-19 outbreak, which has also impacted consumption, including vehicle sales.

Electric vehicle (EV) sales were booming in China before the COVID lockdowns. Tesla sales in China rose 56 percent in the first quarter, while EV sales at its larger rival in China, BYD, increased fivefold.

Tesla assembled 55,462 vehicles at its Shanghai plant in March when it paused production for six days a month, data from the China Passenger Car Association showed.

The reopening of its Shanghai factory was heavily publicized by state media and carried out with the backing of authorities, who helped Tesla transport more than 6,000 workers and carry out disinfection work, Reuters reported this week.

Tesla’s progress, however, comes as a survey showed Japanese companies are struggling to reopen factories in Shanghai, pointing to difficulties with the city government’s push to help key companies get back to work.

The Shanghai Japanese Commerce and Industry Club said Thursday that of 54 companies that responded to a survey conducted April 27-30, 63 percent said their factories have not yet resumed operations.

© Thomson Reuters 2022 Tesla said it would ramp up production at its Shanghai plant to 2,600 cars a day starting May 16

Ryan Sederquist

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