According to CEO Elon Musk, Tesla’s new electric car factories in Grünheide near Berlin and Austin in the US state of Texas are currently losing “billions of dollars”. Musk described the sites as “giant money incinerators” in a video interview released Wednesday. The reason is the lack of batteries and supply chain problems due to the situation in Chinese ports.
In a conversation with the Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley fan club, he called the past two years an “absolute nightmare” regarding supply chain problems in the automotive industry. Tesla boss warned: “We are not done yet.” Now it’s about keeping the company running so that employees keep getting paid and the group doesn’t go bankrupt.
Blockages in China have put a strain on the Shanghai site
While high start-up costs and losses are relatively normal for new plants like Grünheide and Austin in the start-up phase when starting production, Tesla also faced challenges with its Shanghai plant. “The Covid closures in China have been very, very difficult to say the least,” Musk said. The electric car maker plans to suspend most of its production at its Shanghai site in the first two weeks of July for modernization work aimed at increasing production. This emerges from an internal note obtained by the Reuters news agency.
The interview was conducted on May 31, but the part with the most recent statements has only now been posted on the Internet. Musk had recently warned repeatedly of an economic downturn and announced job cuts at Tesla. The electric car maker will cut three to 3.5 percent of its jobs in the coming months, Musk clarified on Tuesday after mixed reports. About every tenth jobs among employees will be lost, while the number of workers will increase in the long run. At the beginning of the year, Tesla had nearly 100,000 employees.
Musk is currently the richest person in the world and is currently trying to take over the social network Twitter, for which he has offered $ 44 billion. Tesla’s Brandenburg plant only opened in March. Over a two-year construction period, the automaker built a “Giga Factory” near Berlin for six billion euros.