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Tesla prepares return to work at Fremont factory, Shanghai temporarily closes again

Tesla is preparing for a potential early return to work at its Fremont factory while it temporarily closed its Gigafactory in Shanghai, which was its only operating car factory.

After defying early shelter-in-place orders in the Bay Area, Tesla was forced to shut down its car factory in Fremont, where it produces most of its vehicles.

It has now been more than a month and based on the latest orders in the region, it didn’t seem like Tesla was going to be able to reopen the plant until the end of May.

Earlier this week, an announcement from California Governor Gavin Newsom gave some hope that Tesla could reopen the Fremont factory before the end of the month.

According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, it prompted Tesla to call some employees back to work to prepare a production restart:

“The person said that only a handful of employees have returned to the factory floor for now to prepare, and that additional safety measures have been put in place at the factory to guard against coronavirus transmission.”

The local police said that it might not defy the local shelter-in-place order as long as they are not producing cars.

While the Fremont factory is not operating, Tesla was relying on Gigafactory Shanghai to get some new vehicles on the road, but now a report from Bloomberg claims that the factory also had to temporarily shut down:

“The company informed many factory workers, who were supposed to return to work Wednesday after China’s five-day Labor Day break, to extend their holiday and return as soon as May 9, according to the the people, who asked not to be identified as the information isn’t public.”

According to a local report, Tesla is suffering from part shortages that are preventing them from producing vehicles.

Tesla China reportedly commented:

“Tesla said in a statement that its Shanghai factory is conducting normal maintenance work and that the company made use of the Labor Day holidays to conduct production-line adjustments. The holidays were from May 1 to May 5.”

It’s unclear if Tesla is still only performing maintenance or if the plant is now back to producing vehicles.

Tesla Gigafactory Shanghai had to close during the initial coronavirus outbreak in China, but it quickly returned to production even before Tesla had to shut down its factories in the US.

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