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Tesla to halt production at Gigafactory Berlin to upgrade factory and add shift

Tesla is reportedly set to halt production at Gigafactory Berlin in order to modernize the factory and add a shift to achieve higher production capacity.

Tesla’s top priority is to ramp up production to catch up with customer demand.

The automaker does this at all of its factories, but the ramps are more prominent at Gigafactory Berlin and Gigafactory Texas, which only recently started production.

Giga Berlin seemed to be doing relatively well thanks to the use of the 2170 cells, which enable a battery infrastructure that Tesla is used to, and it hit a production rate of 1,000 model vehicles per week in June.

Giga Texas seemed to be falling behind as it struggled to ramp up production of the 4680 battery cell and structural battery, but we reported that last week the factory had ramped up production significantly with Tesla starting to build the Y Long Range model with 2170 plant cells.

Now Tesla is looking to catch up with Gigafactory Berlin, and it looks like it will shut down the factory for about two weeks in order to upgrade it.

German Bild reported the news today:

According to information from BILD, Tesla therefore wants to halt operations for two weeks starting next Monday. It is unclear how many of the 4,500 employees will be sent on vacation and how many technicians will stay to convert production.

The publication also indicates that the automaker will add a third team and start producing electric motors at the factory instead of importing them from Gigafactory Shanghai:

According to the employees, after the interruption of production, the work should be carried out in three instead of two shifts. Additionally, Tesla could then begin manufacturing the drive in a nearby hall.

While upgrading might help, Gigafactory Berlin’s biggest bottleneck would be its workforce.

Over the past few months, there have been numerous reports of problems with hiring and retaining employees by Tesla. Some of them suggested that wages have been a particular issue and that the local union, IG Metall, is starting to get involved. But Tesla raised salaries by 6% for many employees to address the problem.

It will take a major hiring effort for Tesla to add a third shift at the factory after the factory restarts later this month.

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