The increase in production capacity was carried out to restore production to levels before Shanghai went into lockdown due to COVID-19.
Giga Shanghai itself was also affected by the lockdown due to Covid-19 which began last March 28. Giga Shanghai itself is positioned to cater to the electric vehicle market in China and for export mainly to Europe.
Giga Shanghai is currently operational and only runs one shift. Tesla plans to add more production at the Shanghai Giga starting May 16. With the increase in production, the Shanghai Giga’s output will be 16,900 vehicles per week, according to Reuters calculations. Tesla declined to comment directly on the plans.
Prior to the lockdown, Tesla had run three shifts at the Shanghai Giga making Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y. Giga Shanghai reopened on April 19 after a 22-day shutdown, the longest since the factory opened in late 2019.
The Shanghai lockdown has also been a challenge for Tesla and other manufacturers because of the complexity of getting parts from suppliers.
Sales of electric vehicles had been on the rise in China before the COVID lockdown. Tesla’s sales in China jumped 56 percent in the first quarter, while sales of electric vehicles by its bigger Chinese rival, BYD, increased fivefold.