Tesla’s China Plant Keeps Coming Through as Elon Musk Hurdles Crises
(Bloomberg) -- Tesla Inc.’s Shanghai factory that was critical to the electric-car leader making it through initial pandemic shutdowns is now playing a crucial role in taking vehicle deliveries another leg higher.
The plant’s ramping up of Model Y sport utility vehicles -- even in the midst of the global chip shortage -- likely drove production growth last quarter, Joe Spak, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, wrote in a report Monday. Tesla managed to deliver about 241,300 vehicles to customers, exceeding estimates and sending shares up as much as 2.8% before the start of regular trading.
Tesla opened the China factory just before the initial outbreak of Covid-19 in Wuhan touched off the worst pandemic in more than a century. While this looked like inopportune timing at first, government authorities helped the Model 3 maker get back on its feet faster than other foreign carmakers. The facility was instrumental in sustaining the company while Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk waged a pitched battle with California officials over the suspension of its only other auto assembly plant.
Almost a year and a half after Musk threatened to move Tesla’s headquarters out of California due to pandemic lockdown measures, the billionaire hasn’t followed through on a warning the company would cease manufacturing activity in the San Francisco Bay area city of Fremont. However, Tesla has now datelined each of its last two press releases from Austin, Texas, where it’s building a second U.S. auto plant.
Martin Viecha, Tesla’s head of investor relations, didn’t respond when asked over the weekend if the company has moved its headquarters to Austin. Musk moved to Texas last year.
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