A drone flyover video of Tesla’s Gigafactory Shanghai and a report from Bloomberg Quint suggest that the factory has restarted production after weeks of COVID-related closure.
Giga Shanghai production was halted due to the worsening COVID-19 situation in the Chinese towards the end of March. This closure negatively impacted Tesla’s Q1 2022 production and delivery numbers.
Tesla employees started arriving at Giga Shanghai on April 17th but production only started yesterday (April 18th).
The aerial video taken by a state-owned Chinese newspaper (ThePaper.cn) shows a few Giga Shanghai employees coming to the factory yesterday and some Tesla Model 3 body frames being moved from the outside of the factory (watch below).
According to a factory memo obtained by Bloomberg Quint, Tesla is providing Giga Shanghai workers with a mattress and sleeping bag to sleep at the factory. Workers have to find a spot to sleep on the factory floor. Tesla is also providing 3 meals a day and entertainment opportunities to employees working a 12-hour shift daily with one day off in a week.
However, Giga Shanghai workers have to follow a strict COVID-19 prevention routine with daily blood tests for the first 3 days, daily temperature checks, and washing hands at least 4 times a day (Source: Bloomberg Quint).
A daily stipend of 400 yuan ($63) is also provided to Giga Shanghai employees. Tesla employees are called to the factory only from areas of the Shanghai city marked “low risk”. The latest video from the factory also shows a Tesla bus bringing in employees from parts of the COVID-hit city.
During the weekend, the government of Shanghai city released a list of 666 companies that it encouraged to restart operations. Tesla is one of the two OEMs on this list that Shanghai asked to restart production, the list was posted by a Twitter account that reports EV data from China.
Tesla’s Shanghai car manufacturing plant produces Model 3 compact electric sedan and Model Y mid-size electric SUV to be sold locally in China and export these cars to South East Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. So, it’s a major driver in Tesla’s quarterly production and delivery numbers.
Update: Song Gang, the Senior Director of manufacturing at Giga Shanghai told local media that 8,000 workers have already returned to the factory for work. “The battery and motor production lines are already producing at full speed,” he said.
The vehicle production line will be back to full speed in a single shift in the next 3-4 days, Song added.