Tesla reopens for first time after reopening Shanghai export plant

SHANGHAI – Tesla made its first export from China on Wednesday, April 19, after reopening its Shanghai plant, with 4,767 vehicles heading for Slovenia, the government-backed media outlet Shanghai Observer reported.

According to the Shanghai-based news outlet, the carrier of the Glovis Splendor vehicle left the port early Wednesday morning, bound for the Slovenian port of Copper.

“Yesterday afternoon Tesla was in a big hurry to load new cars from the production line,” the Shanghai Observer quoted a customs official as saying.

Tesla on Friday ordered the shipment of 4,100 vehicles, saying the automaker aims to export 300,000 vehicles from Shanghai by 2022.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The shipment reflects Tesla’s efforts to bring operations back to normal at its Shanghai plant, making the Model 3 and Model Y available for sale and export in China.

Tesla did not export any Chinese-made Model 3s or Model Ys from its Shanghai plant in April, the Chinese Passenger Car Association said Tuesday, adding that China’s zero-COVID-19 policies have hampered production and distribution.

The company’s sales in China fell 98% in April from a month earlier, the data also shows.

The factory was reopened on April 19 with the help of the Shanghai government and was widely covered by Chinese state media. It was set as an example of how the city is trying to keep business open while following a strict COVID policy.

Tesla has built 10,757 vehicles since its reopening at its Shanghai plant from April 19 to April 30 and has set a target of achieving a daily output of 2,600 vehicles per day from May 16, Reuters previously reported.

Efforts by Shanghai’s factories, which are struggling to recover, have been hampered by a crackdown by city authorities on stamping out the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Tesla plant was running below capacity earlier this week due to logistical and supply line problems.

(Reporting by Zhang Yan, and Brenda Goh; Editing by Christopher Cushing, Jacqueline Wong, and Simon Cameron-Moore)

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