Thousands of Tesla Inc workers in Shanghai will be able to return to their homes from Friday, breaking out of a factory bubble set up to keep operations afloat during the city’s recent COVID-19 lockdown as the carmaker seeks to return to a normal production schedule in China. Is.
Tesla has told workers, who are living in temporary housing to continue production at the giant plant, that they can begin leaving Friday, when their shifts end, according to people familiar with the matter, who identified Asked not to because the information is not public.
The plan is in line with the June 10 target to phase out the so-called closed-loop system, where employees are kept away from the wider public and regularly tested for COVID-19. Elon Musk’s Tesla employs more than 10,000 people at its Shanghai factory, which produces Model 3 and Model Y vehicles for export to the Chinese market as well.
A representative for Shanghai-based Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Tesla began a closed-loop in April after a three-week production halt as authorities put Shanghai into lockdown to ease an omicron outbreak. With cases now fading, the Chinese financial center has eased some restrictions to allow free movement in low-risk areas, meaning the system adopted by others, including Tesla and Volkswagen AG, is less essential for workers. Is.
One of the people said the first batch of Tesla workers who entered the closed loop in mid-April may take four days off before returning on June 15. The employees are housed in disused factories and an old military camp, with day shift and night shift workers sharing beds in temporary dormitories.
Before production halted on March 28, the plant ran in three shifts covering 24 hours, seven days a week. The workers were on daily duty of 12 hours for four days and then had two days off. Tesla plans to reinstate that schedule from Monday, bringing back employees from outside the bubble to fill the first shifters, the people said. He said everyone would be able to move in and out every day.
In the first month under a closed loop, the Shanghai factory worked a 12-hour shift for six days with one day off. People said that it was changed to double shift later in May.
The system helped Tesla ramp up production at the plant, from 10,757 in April to 33,544 cars in May, according to data from the China Passenger Car Association released on Thursday. Still, it was only half of its normal monthly output: Before Covid, the factory produced about 2,100 cars a day.
China’s car sales in April fell by the most in two years as lockdowns in auto-industry hubs hit production and kept buyers out of showrooms. Not a single car was sold in Shanghai that month.