June 10, 2023

Tesla China intervenes in Giga Shanghai’s reported production shutdown

Tesla China has shared a response to the reported shutdown of Gigafactory Shanghai production. The electric vehicle maker’s comments came amid mainstream media reports that Giga Shanghai has suspended production since Saturday.

Over the weekend, Reuters stated that Gigafactory Shanghai had canceled its morning shift. The publication also claimed that the electric vehicle maker had notified all factory workers that they could start a break. Reuters cited an internal notification and two sources familiar with the matter as sources of information in their report.

In the statement The Global Times Tesla China stated on December 25 that reports of the plant shutting down production are not entirely accurate. Tesla China said that the Giga Shanghai vehicle production line will undergo annual maintenance. The machine shops that manufacture the plant’s charging piles would not stop their work either.

“The Shanghai factory will continue to maintain efficient production and excellent production in 2022. Vehicle production will be carried out as planned during next week’s (ie this week) annual production line maintenance. At the same time, after a year of hard work, the employees also took a break during the maintenance period of the production line. The charging piles and other workshops have not stopped, and the media claim that the factory has stopped is not entirely true, Tesla China pointed out.

While Tesla China’s explanation is definitely appreciated, it wouldn’t be a stretch to argue that the electric vehicle maker could have done a better job of communicating this time around. Reports of Giga Shanghai’s alleged production shutdown this month have been rife since early December, and at the time Tesla China only stated that the claims in the reports were “untrue.” It would have been better if Tesla China had released its full explanation as soon as the first reports of the production halt became public.

In a way, managing Giga Shanghai’s annual production line maintenance could be seen as a rare shortcoming for Tesla’s China communications team, which typically handles communications much better than its Western counterpart. For example, Tesla China has managed to win a war against a social media trend over alleged Tesla “brake failure” incidents. Among other things, thanks to persuasive legal strategies, Tesla China was able to get forgiveness from both the media and social media influencers who pushed the “brake failure” story in the country.

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Tesla China intervenes in Giga Shanghai’s reported production shutdown

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