According to people familiar with the plans, Tesla Inc. is sending engineers and production staff from its newly upgraded Shanghai factory to its Fremont, Calif., plant in an effort to increase production at its U.S. plant.
The Elon Musk-led automaker will send staff — specifically automation and control engineers — to help with efforts to increase production in Fremont, where Tesla makes the Model S, X, 3 and Y vehicles, the people said. not be identified because the information is private. About 200 people will travel to California on assignments that will last at least three months, one of the people said. The first workers will move out this month, the person added.
A Tesla representative in China declined to comment. Shares of Tesla rose 2.1% to $232.38 before the start of regular trading.
Tesla delivered a record 83,135 vehicles to China in September after increasing capacity at its Shanghai plant. The modernization of the company’s first plant outside the US, which involved maintenance and improvement of equipment under the supervision of automation and control engineers, took about five weeks. That helped double the plant’s annual capacity to about 1 million vehicles, according to Bloomberg News. Fremont can produce about 650,000 cars a year.
According to the automaker’s website, the increase in production has helped cut Tesla’s waiting time in China to one to four weeks from a peak of 22 weeks earlier this year. Last week, the company cut prices on its lineup to attract buyers amid increased competition from local manufacturers, including BYD Co., which is also expanding globally.
By comparison, customers ordering the Model Y sport utility vehicle in the U.S. may have to wait until April 2023 for delivery, according to Tesla’s website. In its third-quarter shipment report, the company said it was increasingly having trouble getting cars from factories to customers.
“There weren’t enough boats, there weren’t enough trains, there weren’t enough car carriers to really support the wave” of car shipments at the end of the last quarter, Musk said during Tesla’s earnings call. “Whether we like it or not, we really have to get intra-quarter car delivery going because there just aren’t enough vehicles to move them around.”
Tesla delivered 343,830 vehicles worldwide last quarter and expects to miss its goal of 50 percent growth this year, which it predicts will be a multi-year average. The company opened new plants in Germany in March and in Texas a month later.