Tesla might reduce the number of production days at the Giga Shanghai plant in China in January, after it limited the output in the last days of 2022.
Reuters reports that the company plans to run a reduced production schedule, extending the reduced output it began this month into next year. This is unofficial information, based on an internal schedule reviewed by Reuters.
According to the article, Tesla is expected to produce electric cars in Shanghai for 17 days (between January 3 to January 19). From January 20, until the end of the month, the plant will enter an extended break for Chinese New Year.
"Tesla did not specify a reason for the production slowdown in its output plan. It was also not clear whether work would continue outside the assembly lines for the Model 3 and Model Y at the plant during the scheduled downtime. It has not been established practice for Tesla to shut down operations for an extended period for Chinese New Year."
Reuters noted that Tesla did not immediately responded for this new unofficial info, but according to Global Times (via CnEVPost), the previous report about the reduced production in December was considered "not entirely accurate.". As we understand, Tesla describes the December break as a planned annual production line maintenance period. Also, not all operations at the site will be halted.
The next day, a local media outlet Caijing (via CnEVPost) reported that the Reuters' article about January is also not correct, according to Tesla's representative:
"The rumored information about Tesla’s holiday is not accurate. In fact, most of the employees at the Shanghai Gigafactory will be on holiday from January 20-28, which will be one day longer than the statutory holiday before and after, allowing everyone to flexibly arrange their homecoming time."
However, with the additional rumor about some longer than expected pauses, many worries that there is some oversupply of Tesla cars.
The Giga Shanghai plant is probably able to produce more than one million electric cars annually (the average result during the past three months exceeded 250,000 units, including over 100,000 in November). Various issues could affect such a big site, starting with a potential weakened demand (despite lowered prices, insurance-related incentives and new discounts), end of subsidies, COVID-related issues and the general economic slowdown.
Tesla's estimated global electric car order backlog decreased quite significantly in the recent months and China specifically was at the edge of this trend. Yesterday, the Chinese media reported that deliveries of new Made-in-China (MIC) Model 3/Model Y in China (full range) are expected in 1-4 weeks for new orders. Previously (from December 2) the company's website indicated that all vehicles to be delivered in December, while before December 2 it was 1-5 weeks.
We are far from picturing a catastrophic vision about Tesla in China, as the company already produced more than 650,000 cars this year at the Giga Shanghai (up 63 percent year-over-year) and that's without December numbers. In about two weeks, we should see December sales results, which might give us a hint whether there are reasons to limit the production output.
Sources: Reuters, CnEVPost, CnEVPost, CnEVPost (January)