Tesla is halting production at Fremont factory in response to coronavirus

Fremont factory will run only basic operations until further notice.

Tesla, the electric car maker, said that it is hanging on its production in its Fremont and New York factories from Monday, March 23, due to the growing pressure from the local health authorities to shut down to break off the spread of COVID-19. However, Tesla’s Giga Shanghai factory is back to work after a 10-week lockdown in China.

Tesla has decided to suspend the production at its Fermont factory in the effect of Alameda County pressure, as well as at New York Gigafactory. The company said that they have talked with different officials from local, state, and federal about the right direction to handle the situation.  

“We have followed and are continuing to follow all legal directions and safety guidelines with respect to the operations of our facilities, and have honored the Federal Government’s direction to continue operating. Despite taking all known health precautions, continued operations in certain locations have caused challenges for our employees, their families, and our suppliers.” Tesla said in an official statement.

The lockdown by the county allowed the companies to continue the basic operations but cannot maintain their business as usual. But, despite huge criticism, Tesla continued making cars at the Fremont factory in the San Francisco Bay Area. Tesla says now they will continue only its basic operations at its facility.

In the light of the light permission to work, the automaker, Tesla mentioned that “Our factory in New York will temporarily suspend production as well, except for those parts and supplies necessary for service, infrastructure, and critical supply chains. Operations of our other facilities will continue, including Nevada and our service and Supercharging network.”


READ: Facebook blocked some posts about coronavirus, due to a bug

Before the Tesla announcement, there was a battle either to close the plant or not. In an email sent to the factory workers on Wednesday, Tesla management said that the workers should continue to work if they are in an ‘essential function.’ Though, the sick workers were allowed to have them paid off and asked to stay at home.

Elan Musk, the CEO of Tesla, and Tesla leadership then get criticized by the government officials, industry watchdogs, and the local health care authorities for continuing the production ignoring COVID-19 “shelter in place” order. 

Tesla “touchless deliveries”

With the statement for the factory shutdown announcement, Tesla also said that it started undertaking touchless deliveries at “many locations” for the customers who wish to pick up their Tesla cars by social distancing. 

Due to the unique over-the-air connectivity of our vehicles, customers can unlock their new cars at a delivery parking lot via the Tesla App, sign any remaining relevant paperwork that has placed in their vehicle, and return that paperwork to an on-site drop-off location before leaving,” Tesla said in an announcement.

The employees of Tesla still feel insecure as they say they are still at the risk of COVID-19 exposure. The customers are walking into the Tesla locations for the trade-in and financing as it is not possible to meet the expectations of touchless deliveries, which begins in Fremont and Costa Mesa according to TechCrunch.

Automakers Shutdown

General Motors, Ford, Honda, and Fiat Chrysler have also shut down their factories due to the coronavirus pandemic. While Honda has already done it, General Motors has said that it would shut down all of its North American plants by March 30. Ford and Fiat Chrysler also found that their employees were tested positive for coronavirus and decided to shut down the work. 

Still, according to Electrek, Tesla is going to make the best of it. The company can use a small workforce at the Fremont factory, which it plans to make upgrades to its Model Y production capacity.

Featured image: Cleantechnica

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