SHANGHAI – Tesla has shut down most of its production at its Shanghai plant due to problems securing parts for its electric vehicles, according to an internal memo seen by ReutersThe latest in a series of inconveniences for the factory.
Automaker sales in China had already fallen 98% in April from a month earlier, according to data released by the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) on Tuesday, depending on the impact of China’s severe COVID-19 lockdown.
Shanghai is in the sixth week of an intense lockdown that has tested manufacturers’ ability to operate amid strict restrictions on the movement of people and equipment.
Tesla planned to build less than 200 vehicles at its factory in the city on Tuesday, according to the memo, which is much less than the 1,200 units per day since it reopened on April 19 after a 22-day shutdown.
Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.
Since its reopening, the factory has produced 10,757 vehicles by the end of April, of which 1,512 have been sold, the CPCA said.
This compares to 65,814 vehicles sold in March and the lowest sales since April 2020, four months after the factory began supplying cars made in China.
Tesla did not export Chinese-made Model 3s and Model Ys from its Shanghai plant in April, data shows.
Two people familiar with Tesla’s operations had earlier said that the Shanghai plant had suspended work on Monday because it was having difficulty collecting supplies.
The company aims to increase the plant’s output to 2,600 vehicles a day by next week, Reuters Previously reported.
Overall passenger car sales for China, the world’s largest auto market, fell nearly 36% in April from a year earlier, the CPCA said. However, sales of battery-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids – China’s incentive target in one category – have increased by more than 50%, mainly due to the good performance of BYD and SAIC-GM-Wuling.
Another auto association estimated last week that overall auto sales in China fell 48% in April as lockdowns shut down factories, restricted showroom traffic and broke costs.
Shanghai authorities have tightened the city-wide lockdown imposed more than a month ago on a commercial center with a population of 25 million, a move that could impede month-long traffic.
(Reporting by Zhang Yan and Brenda Goh; Additional reporting by Sophie Yu; Editing by Stephen Coates, Kirsten Donovan)