© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A general view of Tesla’s Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg, the electric car manufacture, in Gruenheide, Germany July 18, 2023. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse/File Photo
BERLIN (Reuters) – Tesla’s German plant produced 6,000 cars in a week for the first time shortly before it halted production in late January because of a component shortage, the plant’s director told Tagesspiegel in an interview published on Wednesday.
“We cracked that milestone,” director Andre Thierig was quoted as saying in the interview, adding the two-week production stop – which he attributed to missing components because of attacks by Houthi militants on ships in the Red Sea – had not impacted the plant’s pace of ramping up output.
Still, the carmaker, which now employs around 12,500 workers at its German plant, has since March last year moved to increase weekly production, according to its own statements.
It raised production to 5,000 a week in March from 2,000 a week in October, according to statements on its social media, but had not provided an update on output since then.
The carmaker is awaiting approval on an application to double the plant’s capacity to 1 million cars annually, with a citizens’ consultation under way on whether the community will allow it to cut down some 70 hectares (173 acres) of forest in Gruenheide, near Berlin, to make way for the expansion.
Thierig was quoted by Tagesspiegel as confirming that the carmaker would resume production after the brief halt on Feb. 12 as planned, saying supply chains were once again “intact”.
Tesla had “the necessary certainty that all necessary production pieces were available in sufficient numbers to restart production in full,” he said.