Tesla insists Shanghai production stoppage ‘normal’

SHANGHAI — Tesla has halted production at its factory in Shanghai, which had been its only plant still in operation amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

“Tesla Shanghai is adjusting to normal production due to test run[s] and maintenance of production lines that were carried out during the recent holidays,” the company said in a statement late Thursday, without indicating when production would resume. “All work is being executed according to plan.”

The company statement came in response to a report by local technology news site 36kr that the continuing production halt was the result of a disruption of component supplies to the plant. Work at the plant had been suspended already for China’s public holidays between May 1 and May 5.

Production at the Tesla factory, which is heavily dependent on imported components, was also brought to a halt in early February at the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in China.

Tesla had said in its first-quarter earnings report on April 29 that “due to better than expected progress,” it expected to reach a production rate in Shanghai of about 4,000 cars per week by mid-year. Last month, it broadened output there from a single version of its Model 3 sedan to three versions.

The Shanghai plant opened late last year, complementing Tesla’s main factory¬†in California and one being developed in Berlin. The company recently announced a price cut for its China models after Beijing renewed subsidies for new energy vehicles.

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