Tesla restarts production under Shanghai lockdowns

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
20 April 2022

Tesla’s Shanghai factory has restarted production following a period of shutdown due to Covid restrictions.

Around 8,000 staff have returned to work after more than 20 days of suspended operations amid lengthy lockdowns.

Most of Shanghai’s population of 25 million people have been confined to their homes since last March as the government pursues a zero-Covid approach.

“We have full confidence in China's economy,” said Tao Lin, vice president of Tesla China, according to state news outlet Xinhua. “From the process of the current production resumption, we have seen China's ability to cope with challenges and we believe that normality will soon return.”

Tesla said it was “actively promoting the resumption of production at more than 100 parts manufacturers with the help of relevent government departments”, according to Xinhua.

All factory employees will have to take daily Covid tests while production and office areas will be under strict disinfection procedures.

Xinhua said Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory was the first wholly foreign-owned car plant in China, making 484,130 vehicles last year, up 235% on 2020 and representing 51.7% of global Tesla production.

Chinese authorities have drawn up a “white list” of companies – mainly in the automotive, semiconductor and energy industries – that can resume operations, according to the South China Morning Post. Conditions include they operate “closed loop” systems where key staff live at production sites to cut transmission risks.

Meanwhile, research by Nikkei Asia claims half of Apple’s top 200 suppliers have facilities near Shanghai that could be disrupted by the lockdowns.

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