Tesla announces 4-day shutdown of Gigafactory Berlin due to protests

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Tesla announced that it will be shutting down Gigafactory Berlin for four days, but it is unclear if it has to or if it wants to.

Last quarter, Tesla had to shut down and reduce production at Gigafactory Berlin for very serious reasons.

The former was due to an arson attack from so-called environmentalists, and the latter was due to supply chain issues related to the Red Sea conflict.

While Tesla couldn’t do much to avoid those issues, some analysts suggested that it was convenient for the automaker as it was reducing production capacity due to lower sales anyway.

Now, Tesla is again announcing a shutdown of Gigafactory Berlin.

Environmentalist groups who have been protesting Tesla’s expansion of Gigafactory Berlin have announced planned protests this week at the plant.

In response, Tesla told employees not to come to the factory after the Wednesday night shift (via Handelsblatt – translated from German):

Because of the announced multi-day protests against the Tesla expansion in Grünheide, the electric car manufacturer is sending all employees to work from home on Friday. Tesla shared thisthe workforce in an email from Monday, which was available to the Handelsblatt. For employees in vehicle production, Friday is considered a bridge day.

Tesla says that it has been working with the local authorities over the situation, but it’s unclear if it has to shut down the plant because of concerns from the authorities or if decided to shut down manufacturing by itself.

The email mentions that employees will work from home, but obviously, many workers at Gigafactory Berlin can’t do much from home.

Tesla plans to restart production with the night shift on Sunday.

Electrek’s Take

This is a bit dubious to me. Tesla does say that it is complying with the local authorities, but it doesn’t go as far as saying that the authorities requested Tesla close the factory to manage the protest.

You could say that Tesla is being very cautious or that it is using this as a reason to reduce production because it doesn’t think it can match its capacity with orders.

I lean toward the latter.

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