Red Sea shipping attacks halt Tesla production at German plant

0
31

US electric car maker Tesla has been forced to halt production at a plant outside the German capital Berlin for about two weeks, the company said Thursday citing supply chain gaps due to the Houthi attacks on container ships in the Red Sea.

“Due to a lack of components, we are forced to suspend vehicle production at the Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg between January 29 and February 11, with the exception of a few sub-areas,” Tesla said in a statement.

Since the outbreak of the Gaza war between Israel and the Islamist Hamas, Yemen’s Houthi rebels have repeatedly attacked ships with an alleged Israeli connection in the Red Sea. Large shipping companies have increasingly been avoiding the important trade route. Around 10% of all global trade passes through the Red Sea.

Instead of traversing the Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean with the Red Sea and offers the shortest sea route between Asia and Europe, many are opting to reroute vessels around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, which takes around two weeks longer.

As cargo ships are being rerouted to avoid the Red Sea, “significantly longer transport times” are causing supply chain gaps, Tesla said.

“Production will resume in full from February 12,” Tesla added.

Tesla has been manufacturing e-cars in Grünheide near Berlin since March 2022, with around 11,500 people employed there.

Tesla wants to double production in Grünheide from the targeted 500,000 cars a year to one million a year. According to the company, it currently produces more than 250,000 vehicles per year at the plant.

The storage capacity for the production of battery cells is to increase from 50 to 100 gigawatt hours per year. Environmentalists have raised concerns about the expansion.

A Tesla Model Y electric vehicle stands in front of the Tesla Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg. Patrick Pleul/dpa

A Tesla Model Y electric vehicle stands in front of the Tesla Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg. Patrick Pleul/dpa

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here