June 26, 2022

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Data shows China’s COVID restrictions have affected production of electric cars, including that of Tesla

Data shows China's COVID restrictions have affected production of electric cars, including that of Tesla

A truck transports new Tesla cars at its plant in Shanghai, China, May 13, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo/File Photo

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SHANGHAI, April 11 (Reuters) – China’s anti-Covid-19 measures hit production at electric car plants in March, with Tesla Inc. (TSLA.O) The Shanghai operation makes barely more cars than in the traditionally low-production month of February.

Cui Dongshu, general secretary of the China Passenger Car Association, who released data for the period, said China’s electric car makers produced far fewer cars than expected in March, due to epidemic measures.

While Tesla’s Shanghai plant delivered 16% more cars in March than the previous month, its 55,462-unit production was just 154 higher than February, a shorter month during which workers usually get some time off for the Lunar New Year holidays.

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Coy said electric car makers are selling from stocks to support deliveries.

China has imposed strict lockdowns to contain the spread of the highly contagious variant Omicron in several places – including Jilin Province and Shanghai, where major automakers and their suppliers are located.

Such measures have disrupted logistics and affected auto retail sales, the association chief said, adding that automakers are facing “tremendous” pressure in maintaining deliveries.

In January, the Tesla Shanghai plant produced 68,117 cars. It suspended production in mid-March for two days due to COVID controls. After resuming work briefly, he was forced to stop work again on March 28 due to the shutdown of Shanghai. Read more

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The association said total sales of passenger cars in March in China totaled 1.61 million, down 10.9% from a year earlier.

Chinese car maker Nio (9866.HK) On Saturday, it said it had halted production after the country’s measures to contain the recent pandemic surge hampered operations at its suppliers. Shares in Nio were down 9% on Monday.

Exports decreased

Union data also showed that Tesla’s exports of cars made in China fell to just 60 units as domestic deliveries doubled from February.

Tesla said that Tesla usually exports fewer cars at the end of each quarter so it can meet the backlog of domestic demand.

In normal times, the Shanghai factory produces 6000 Model 3 cars and 10,000 Model Y cars per week for the Chinese, German and Japanese markets.

Some buyers were quick to place orders ahead of the expected additional price increases after Tesla announced price increases in November and March, citing higher raw material costs.

A Tesla sales representative said last week that Chinese customers now have to wait five months after ordering the Model 3 and three months for the Model Y.

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(Reporting by Zhang Yan and Brenda Goh) Editing by Christopher Cushing and Bradley Perrett

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.