Tesla has asked some employees to return to work at its vehicle-assembly plant in Fremont, California from Wednesday April 29, even as COVID-19 stay-home orders in the San Francisco Bay area are slated to expire only on May 3, Bloomberg reported Sunday.
Citing internal documents, Bloomberg reported that Tesla supervisors told some staff in the Fremont plant’s paint and stamping operations to report for work on April 29. In The supervisors reportedly asked workers to reply and say whether they plan to show up for work at the plant.
The luxury electric car maker had previously informed workers that it expected to resume normal production at its U.S. facilities on May 4, one day after the Bay area stay-home orders are scheduled to end. The Fremont plant builds all the vehicles currently in Tesla’s line-up – the Model X, Y, S and 3.
Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk was reluctant to stop production at the Fremont plant even after a shelter-in-place order in mid-March by the counties in the San Francisco area due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The company also had received an explicit order from the Sheriff’s Office in Alameda County, where Tesla is based, to shut down as it is not an essential business. Following many days of stand-off with local authorities, Tesla announced plans on March 20 to temporarily suspend operations at its California and New York factories.
The shutdown resulted in lost deliveries and revenue for Tesla. Analysts at Credit Suisse estimate that the shutdown at the Fremont plant has resulted in cash burn of about $300 million per week.
In mid-April, Tesla cut pays and furloughed non-essential workers as the shutdown of its vehicle production continued amid escalating Covid-19 cases.
Meanwhile, other automakers such as Toyota Motor Corp., Volkswagen AG and Hyundai Motor Co. have said they plan to resume operations at their factories in early May.
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