Tesla is reportedly going to shut down production at Gigafactory Berlin in order to upgrade the factory and add a shift to achieve higher production capacity.
The top priority at Tesla is to ramp up production to catch up with customer demand.
The automaker is doing that at all its factories, but the ramps are more significant at Gigafactory Berlin and Gigafactory Texas, which only recently started production.
Giga Berlin appeared to be doing relatively well thanks to utilizing the 2170 cells, which enables a battery infrastructure that Tesla is used to, and it achieved a production rate of 1,000 Model vehicles per week in June.
Giga Texas appeared to be falling behind since it had difficulties ramping up production of the 4680 battery cell and structural battery pack, but we reported that last week that the factory ramped up production significantly with Tesla starting to build Model Y Long Range with 2170 cells at the plant.
Now Tesla is looking for Gigafactory Berlin to catch up, and it will reportedly shut down the factory for about two weeks in order to upgrade it.
Germany’s Bild reported the news today:
According to BILD information, Tesla therefore wants to interrupt operations for two weeks starting next Monday. It is unclear how many of the 4,500 employees will be sent on vacation and how many technicians will remain to convert production.
The publication also says that the automaker will add a third shift and start producing electric motors at the factory instead of importing them from Gigafactory Shanghai:
According to employees, after the break in production, work should be carried out in three instead of two shifts. In addition, Tesla could then start manufacturing the drive in a neighboring hall.
While the upgrade could help, Gigafactory Berlin’s biggest bottleneck is reportedly its workforce.
Over the last few months, there have been many reports of Tesla having issues hiring and retaining employees. Some of them suggested that salaries have been a particular issue and the local union, IG Metall, was starting to get involved. But Tesla did increase salaries by 6% for many employees in order to address the concern.
It will require a significant hiring effort for Tesla to add a third shift at the plant after the factory restart later this month.