Tesla extends shutdown at Shanghai plant amid COVID outbreak among workers

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SINGAPORE — Tesla Inc. suspended car production at its Shanghai plant on Saturday, extending a planned eight-day production halt at its largest worldwide plant by car output, according to people familiar with the matter.

The decision to extend the work halt comes as Tesla

faces a wave of COVID-19 infections among its workers and suppliers, the people said. The temporary halt follows a recent slowdown in global demand for Tesla vehicles.

On Saturday, Tesla told some of its Shanghai employees that it would stop car production that day, a day earlier than originally planned, the people said. The company earlier told staff that production would resume on Jan. 2, they said.

One of the people said that while it isn’t unusual for auto makers to pause work on some production lines during the Lunar New Year holiday and the summer, Tesla hasn’t traditionally halted all car production during the Christmas holidays.

Tesla has built up sufficient inventory that the production halt won’t hurt its ability to fulfill orders, the people said.

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.

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