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Musk: Tesla’s new car factories are losing billions of dollars

SAN FRANCISCO, June 22 (Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) New car plants in Texas and Berlin are “losing billions of dollars” as they struggle to increase production due to battery shortages and Chinese port issues, CEO Elon Musk said in an interview published on Wednesday.

Musk said in an interview with the Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley, a recognized official Tesla club, in Austin, Texas, on May 31.

The club divided its interview with Mask into three parts, the latest of which was released on Wednesday.

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Musk said Tesla’s Texas plant is producing “a small number” of cars due to challenges in ramping up production of its new “4680” batteries and as tools to make its conventional 2170 batteries “stuck at a port in China”. Read more “All of this will be fixed very quickly, but it requires a lot of attention,” he said.

He said the Berlin plant was in a “slightly better position” because it had started using 2,170 conventional batteries for cars built there.

The pursuit of “no bankruptcy”

He said the COVID-19-related lockdowns in Shanghai “have been very difficult.” He said the shutdown affected auto production not only at Tesla’s Shanghai plant, but also at its California plant, which uses some auto parts made in China. Read more

Tesla plans to suspend most production at its Shanghai plant in the first two weeks of July to work on upgrading the site to boost production, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.

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“The past two years have been an absolute nightmare of supply chain disruptions, one thing at a time, and we are not out of it yet,” Musk said.

Tesla’s overwhelming concern, he said, is “How do we keep the factories running so we can pay people and not go bankrupt?”

Musk said earlier this month that he had a “very bad feeling” about the economy and that the company needed to cut staff by about 10% and “pause all hiring around the world.” Earlier this week, he said that a 10% reduction in paid employees at Tesla would occur over three months. Read more

Tesla earlier this year began production at factories in Berlin and Texas, both critical to the growth ambitions of the largest electric car maker.

Musk said he expects Tesla to begin production of its overdue Cybertruck electric trucks in mid-2023.

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Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco and Joe White in Detroit Editing by Leslie Adler and Matthew Lewis

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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