According to CEO Elon Musk, Tesla’s new electric car factories in Grünheide near Berlin and in Austin in the US state of Texas are currently losing “billions of dollars”. Musk described the sites as “giant money incinerators” in a video interview released Wednesday. The reason is a lack of batteries and supply chain problems due to the situation in the Chinese ports.
In a conversation with the “Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley” fan club, he called the past two years an “absolute nightmare” with regard to the supply chain problems in the auto industry. The Tesla boss warned: “We’re not over it yet”. Now it is a matter of keeping the company running so that the employees continue to be paid and the group does not go bankrupt.
Lockdowns in China put a strain on the Shanghai site
While high start-up costs and losses are relatively normal for new plants like Grünheide and Austin in the start-up phase when ramping up production, Tesla also faced challenges with its Shanghai plant. “The Covid shutdowns in China have been very, very difficult to say the least,” Musk said. The electric car maker plans to suspend most of the production at its Shanghai site in the first two weeks of July for modernization work aimed at boosting production. This emerges from an internal memo obtained by the Reuters news agency.
The interview was conducted on May 31st, but the part with the most recent statements has only now been published on the Internet. Musk had recently repeatedly warned of an economic downturn and announced job cuts at Tesla. The electric car maker will cut three to 3.5 percent of its jobs in the coming months, Musk clarified on Tuesday after conflicting reports. Around every tenth job among employees is to be lost, while the number of factory workers will increase in the long term. At the beginning of the year, Tesla had almost 100,000 employees.
Musk is currently the richest person in the world and is currently trying to take over the social network Twitter, for which he has bid $ 44 billion. The Tesla plant in Brandenburg was only opened in March. In a two-year construction period, the car company built a “Giga Factory” near Berlin for six billion euros.