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Tesla Gigafactory Berlin To Close For A Few Days Due To Expansion: New Shift

Tesla wants to expand production, introduce new working shifts and at the same time improve the current pace of manufacturing. Due to these expansion works, Gigafactory Berlin will have to stop activity for a few days.

In a relatively short time Tesla opened the plants in Austin, Texas and Berlin, Germany. With a difference of just one month, both Gigafactories have come into operation with the aim of ramping up production and taking the company to a new level. Elon Musk's master plan is to scale up the company, make it way bigger, and in order to achieve that he basically needs to make the factories to produce more cars. In that regard the expansion of Gigafactory Berlin will mean a two-week standstill in operations, but the delay will be worth it.

In recent weeks there have been rumors about the possible expansion of the factory in Brandenburg. Inaugurated last March, the facility gains production experience and work volume with each passing day. A few weeks ago Giga Berlin celebrated the milestone of 1,000 vehicles manufactured in a week, which has encouraged the company to update the facilities in order to improve that figure considerably and, incidentally, introduce a new work shift to extend its turnover.

This is not be the only facility that Tesla will be updating soon, as there are also plans to carry out similar work in the Shanghai Gigafactory. The Chinese center is Tesla's workhorse, with a production far superior to that of any of the other plants. Thanks to the new expansion, it is expected that the Chinese factory will have the capacity to manufacture one million cars per year, about 21,000 vehicles per week; off course we are talking about a completely different scale than the German plant.

Giga Shanghai, courtesy of Tesla Inc.

Despite its more modest figures, the Brandenburg Gigafactory is already giving good figures thanks to an excellent pace with the 2170 cells. At the Austin Gigafactory in Texas though, problems are piling up a little bit due to the 4680 cells and the slow production rate they have so far. Given this situation, the decision has been made to restart the manufacture of Tesla Model Y with the old battery pack, in order to wait to be able to supply the new batteries at a higher rate.

But going back to the German facilities, specialized local media have reported that the activity will stop for at least two weeks starting next Monday, July 11th; two weeks in which the factory will be working on its expansion and hiring new personnel for that extra shift - that is expected to be introduced - thus expanding the current workforce, currently made up by more than 4,500 workers. A few weeks ago IG Metall from Germany reported that Tesla was struggling to find staff for its European factory due to comparatively low wages.

Tesla Model Y, Courtesy of Tesla Inc.

Needless to say that this break will have an impact on the delivery dates of the European Tesla Model Y although it is expected that once the activity resumes the lost volume can be recovered thanks to the extra shift - from two currently they will have three - and to the improved capacity of the assembly lines. Meanwhile and in parallel, some rivals such as Volkswagen consider that this factory expansion strategy may affect the company's competitiveness: only time will tell.

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.