Tesla Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg to shut for five days

Tesla has scheduled a five-day shutdown at Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg. The company has communicated that it is a normal part of the production operation and nothing out of the ordinary.

Image: Tesla

Tesla will hit the pause button at the German plant on the 7th, 14th, 17th, 27th, and 28th of this month. The company said in an announcement that it will halt production in the area of vehicle manufacturing and powertrain on these dates. Casting, Plasma, and Cell areas will remain operative, though. Tesla told plant employees that it will use the downtime to “optimise processes in the factory” and “prepare them for future challenges.”

Grappling with weakening demand for EVs, a situation it’s facing even in China, Tesla will have taken several breaks in production in the late spring to early summer period this year. In early May, the company suspended production at the German plant for four days. At the time, the company had said that the shutdown was to optimise processes. The Model Y, a mid-size crossover, is the only EV Tesla builds there.

In the first quarter of 2024, Tesla’s sales declined for the first time in four years. The company had thousands of unsold new cars in its inventory and had to use an old military airport Neuhardenberg, approximately a one-hour drive from Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg, to store them.

The recent production suspension developments at Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg could contrast earlier information about Tesla’s plans for the German plant. On one hand, it was said that Tesla wants to double the annual production capacity to one million cars and received approval for factory expansion recently. On the other, it seems the company is struggling with overcapacity.

Fortunately, the upcoming production suspension at Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg won’t affect the employees financially. These will be paid-off days, and those who have already taken permission for leave during these days will get them credited back. Employees in the operational areas who won’t benefit from the production break now will receive a compensatory day for each working day.

A dark cloud still surrounds the future of some employees at Tesla’s German production facility, though. The company wants to cut off hundreds from its workforce there, but through a voluntary programme, not layoffs, as per the report. Globally, it plans to trim 10% of its workforce.

handelsblatt.com (in German)


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