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Tesla, GM, VW Recover 20% Capacity in Shanghai After Restart

Export volume from Shanghai is almost back to normal as carmakers prioritize them over domestic shipments.

SAIC Motor
SAIC, plus its partners in Shanghai and Tesla are now making about 2,000 vehicles a day, which is about 20% of their normal production, city officials said on Friday. Photo: Reuters


Shanghai’s big four carmakers are now producing a total of about 2,000 cars a day, a state official said.

That means the auto giants – Tesla, Volkswagen, an SAIC Motor joint venture with General Motors, and SAIC’s passenger vehicle arm – have recovered an average of about 21% of their pre-lockdown capacity, and export volume is almost on par with last year’s monthly average, said David Zhang, head of research at Jiangxi New Energy Technology Institute.

By reaching 2,000 cars a day, the big four auto makers have “largely achieved continuous and stable production” since they restarted in the middle of April, while helping to get 1,100 auto parts makers to resume production, Wu Jincheng, director of Shanghai’s Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization, said at a press briefing.

After the restart, Tesla has shipped 4,900 cars from the Shanghai port and units of the SAIC Motor Group have exported 15,000 cars, Wu said, according to a statement published on the Shanghai municipal government’s official WeChat account.


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Exports Prioritized

“The companies have obviously prioritized exports over domestic shipments driven by higher profit margins and subsidies overseas, such as in the European markets,” Zhang said.

Meanwhile, Covid curbs and reduced demand resulted in a 35.7% decline in passenger car sales in April, marking the biggest monthly drop since the height of China’s initial coronavirus outbreak in March 2020, according to data from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).

Some 4,400 key industrial enterprises in Shanghai, about half of the total, have resumed production, according to the Shanghai government’s statement. It said that 80% of the 847 foreign enterprises “whitelisted” for a restart of their business were back at work.


• Iris Hong




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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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