In order to keep production going despite the rising corona numbers, Tesla decided on a special lockdown in China – and locked the workers in the factory. Now the first ones are allowed to go home. But not very long.

It is a special evening when the employees of the Tesla factory in Shanghai end their shift on Friday: For the first time in almost two months, thousands of workers are not only allowed to leave the assembly line. But also spend the weekend outside the factory – and go home again after a long wait.

This is reported by “Bloomberg”, citing inside sources. The workers are allowed to return home from the factory for four days and recover from the hardships of the past few weeks. Since mid-April, the factory had not only been her place of work: all workers lived on site, ate and slept in the factory since mid-April.

The factory becomes a small town

The unusual working environment is a strategy to be able to continue despite the increased corona numbers in the Middle Kingdom. After Tesla had to stop production at the end of March due to the lockdown, the company drew up a plan on how to continue to meet its own goals despite the corona outbreak in China. The concept of a “closed bubble” was used for this: the employees cut off contact with the outside world, instead of returning home in the evening, they lived together in unused halls of the factory and a former military camp. Together with regular tests, the probability of an outbreak should be reduced to almost zero.

In fact, the plan seems to have worked. While 10,757 new cars were completed in the factory in April, there were 33,544 cars in May – more than three times as many. But you couldn’t get close to the normal output: Before the pandemic, the factory had completed around 2,100 cars every day in a continuous loop.

The fact that productivity did not reach its full potential despite the lockdown in the factory is probably also due to the changed shift plan. Previously, the entire week was worked in three overlapping shifts of 12 hours. In bubble mode, it was initially only one shift, the workers had one day off a week. In May, a day shift and a night shift were added.

return to normal

It remains to be seen whether the falling Covid numbers and the increased production will also increase demand. The lockdown caused Tesla’s sales figures to collapse in April because the showrooms remained closed. Not a single Tesla is said to have been sold in Shanghai in April.

After relaxing at home, the workers soon return to the factory: the plan is for them to return to work normally after four days. Then there should be a return to the normal shift system. And the workers can go home as usual in the evening.

Quelle: Bloomberg

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