Tesla has extended the production pause at its plant in Shanghai to four days after the Chinese city entered a partial lockdown to fight a surge in COVID-19 cases.

According to people familiar with the matter cited by Bloomberg, the factory will be closed for four working days (March 28–31), with normal schedule expected to resume April 1. Initially, production was only suspended on Monday, March 28.

The decision comes after authorities in the metropolis of around 25 million people decided to lock down half the city at a time to conduct mass testing to fight a new COVID-19 outbreak that has turned it into China's biggest virus hotspot.

Areas east of the Huangpu River, where the Tesla plant is located, are locked down from Monday through Thursday. However, Tesla workers may return to work when the western half of the city enters lockdown (April 1–5).

A Tesla China spokesperson noted the company is committed to obeying government policy regarding pandemic prevention and control.

Gallery: Tesla Giga Shanghai (Tesla Gigafactory 3)

"Tesla always insists on fulfilling the main-body responsibility of pandemic prevention and control, strictly implementing all related requirements, and arranging work according to the government's policy at any time."

This approach contrasts with the way Tesla navigated the early days of the pandemic, when CEO Elon Musk famously resisted California health regulators' efforts to keep the Fremont factory closed. After almost seven weeks of shutdown, Musk reopened the plant on May 11, 2020, defying Alameda county officials' orders and daring authorities to arrest him.

The Shanghai plant is essential for Tesla as it serves the world's largest electric vehicle market. The site is also the company's main export hub, shipping Model 3 and Model Y vehicles to European and Asian countries. The facility built half of the electric carmaker's vehicles in 2021—more than 470,000 EVs.

According to Reuters' unofficial sources, each day Giga Shanghai is closed equates to a lost production of 2,000 Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. A four-day break would lead to lost production of 8,000 vehicles. 

Considering that production was already suspended for two days in mid-March after the city rolled out strict movement controls and carried out mass testing, Tesla's lost production in Shanghai this month alone will amount to approximately 10,000 vehicles.

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