According to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory has only produced a total of 26,000 vehicles in the 30 days since it resumed operations on April 19 (via CnEVPost).
The deputy Communist Party secretary of the Lingang free-trade zone administration said on Tuesday that Gigafactory Shanghai was only operating at about 45% of its full production capacity. Local rival SAIC is operating at a slightly higher 50% capacity, with 21,000 vehicles produced since production resumed.
Even though Tesla was whitelisted to resume more than 80% production at the factory earlier this month, the ramp-up is slow because of a strained parts supply chain. The MIIT noted in its report that more than 1,200 auto parts companies in the Shanghai area have restarted operations, and more will resume soon.
The local government is also taking measures to accelerate the restoration of automotive production and supply. Chief among these measures are seven material transfer stations to help auto parts suppliers get logistics and transportation back on track.
Production at Giga Shanghai had been suspended since March 28 because of strict lockdowns to combat China’s largest COVID-19 outbreak in two years. The factory remained offline for 24 days (including another 2-day pause from mid-March). Given Giga Shanghai’s peak output of 2,600 units per day, the closure cost Tesla more than 50,000 vehicles.
Even when Tesla received the green light to restart production, the company was only allowed to bring back a fraction of workers under a “closed-loop” system, where employees lived on-site to avoid contact with outsiders.
Giga Shanghai had an output of only 10,757 units in April as a result, a fraction of its March output of 55,462, and exported zero. Tesla has only exported some 9,000 cars out of China, in two batches that shipped out just last week no less, since resuming operations in April.
The American automaker planned on restoring production to pre-lockdown levels by mid-May after reinstating double shifts at the factory, but that hasn’t happened yet. Workers at Giga Shanghai will reportedly continue to work under the closed-loop system through mid-June.
Shanghai accounts for about 11% of China’s total automotive production. Some of China’s key auto parts suppliers are also located in the city.
The local government will start softening the Shanghai lockdown on June 1, in stages. However, Tesla won’t be able to scale production back up beyond current levels until the supply situation improves.
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