Gigafactory Berlin, courtesy of Tesla Inc.
Nicolas Caballero's picture

Gigafactory Berlin To Have A Third Shift: More European Tesla Models

Tesla Giga Berlin continues to prepare for mass production, although it is currently still a "money burner" as per Elon Musk´s comments, due to its relatively low production volumes. The company has not managed - like every other automaker - to stabilize its supply chain issues yet; but still, that is not the entire picture: Giga Berlin wasn't offering salaries lucrative enough in order to quickly fill its vacancies, but Tesla has already taken notice and is offering more euros for the same job.
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Currently the Grünheide factory - officially Giga Berlin-Brandenburg - works a double shift, the one that starts at 06:30 am and the one that starts at 2:30 pm. Starting next Monday July 4th 2022, a third shift will be established. For those unfamiliar with the terminology, third shift basically means that the factory will be running 24 hours a day. A volume of 1,000 weekly units of the Tesla Model Y Performance has recently been reached.

Despite the announced cut in Tesla's workforce, which in the end will be limited only to personnel outside the factories, Giga Berlin is actually in need of more workers. Currently some 5,000 people work in its facilities, but by the end of the year the goal is to reach 12,000 employees; a high figure if we compare it with the production centers and factories of traditional high-volume car manufacturers.

Tesla Model Y, Courtesy of Tesla Inc.

It seems to be somewhat of a paradox, given the fact that electric cars actually need fewer components than ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) cars; but just do this simple calculation: 12,000 employees working three shifts will mean 4,000 workers per shift, which is a much more common figure as per industry standards. Not all automotive factories can work with a third shift, since the volume does not always justify having one; so actually the very fact of having a third shift is already a sign that things are going well for the company there.

Through the Grünheide employment agency, more than 600 unemployed workers have been already placed at Giga Berlin, half of them on long-term contracts. Although we do not have more accurate data, it is to be assumed that a good part of them have actually already worked for other traditional car manufacturers not so long ago, so it is easily concluded that they have the experience required to successfully perform the tasks. During the previous worldwide financial crisis back in 2008, several factories had to be closed due to overcapacity, including many plants in Germany.

Tesla Model Y, Courtesy of Tesla Inc.

Tesla continues to hire skilled people in Grünheide in order to increase production. Currently the Tesla Model Y Great Autonomy has delivery times scheduled for October – December 2022, and the same for the Model Y Performance; although the bulk of produced units still comes from Giga Shanghai in China. In theory the capacity of the factory is 500,000 units per year, so 1,000 units per week is one tenth of what could actually be produced at the facilities.

All images courtesy of Tesla Inc.

Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.


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