Tesla to Reduce Gigafactory Staff by 75 Percent

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
tesla to reduce gigafactory staff by 75 percent

With Panasonic having already made plans to ramp down production at the Nevada battery facility it shares with Tesla, followed by a 14-day closure to curtail the spread of the new coronavirus, its business partner has decided to follow suit. Tesla now plans on reducing on-site staff at Gigafactory 1 by 75 percent, according to the local county manager Austin Osborne.

“Tesla has informed us that the Gigafactory in Storey County is reducing on-site staff by roughly 75 [percent] in the coming days,” he explained via the county’s website on Thursday. “Our companies at [Tahoe Reno Industrial Center] TRIC are taking the COVID-19 matter seriously, and regularly report to us the measures they are taking to adhere to the established guidelines while maintaining essential operations. Checking employee temperatures, creating central access, allowing remote work, maintaining workstation distance, and others are occurring.”

While Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been adamant that it’s important to get some factories back up and running as soon as possible to supply medical ventilators ( an interesting product shift for an interesting period), he’s walked back some of his earlier claims that COVID-19 was overblown.

After becoming one of the few automotive holdouts in the United States still attempting to maintain production, the manufacturer has since suspended assembly at its vehicle factory in Fremont, CA. It also has a couple of known coronavirus cases within its staff, though nobody has confirmed where those workers hail from — just that they are now quarantined at home.

The Nevada Gigafactory produces Model 3 electric motors, battery packs, and various energy storage solutions sold by Tesla (e.g. Powerwall, Powerpack). Meanwhile, Panasonic handles the physical cells used in the automaker’s battery packs. Since there won’t be any Panasonic employees on hand to put those together next week, Tesla is left with little recourse, as this creates an impassable gap in its immediate battery supply chain.

[Image: Welcomia/Shutterstock]

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  • Lokki Lokki on Mar 28, 2020

    I am curious to see how Tesla will do during the current business disruption. They have always been dependent on good cash flow, and subsidies in the form of pollution credits from other manufacturers, I would imagine those credit payments will fall. I also wonder about their ability to continue to raise money in the market. Usually they do that by promising the introduction of a new model- most recently the Cyber Truck. However, I can’t see that gambit of selling tomorrow’s promises being very effective in these circumstances. I would assume that Tesla will be eligible for some government help on the same lines as Ford, GM, and FCA receive, but would that suffice?

    • TimK TimK on Mar 28, 2020

      Tesla will be fine, I hear the UAW has their back. ;-)

  • Threeer Threeer on Mar 29, 2020

    I hope that once this passes that America wakes up to the realization that we have become totally dependent on China and that we take back our independence and ability to provide for our own country. But the realist in me knows that once we are able, we will run right back out and begin massive consumption of cheap goods from a country that is neither friend or ally. We could be leading the effort to solve this, much like we have done in the past, but I fear our desire and ambition to take the reigns had long passed...

  • Kwik_Shift I like, because I don't have to look at them. Just by feel and location while driving.
  • Dwford This is the last time we are making these, so you better hurry up and buy (until the next time we make them, that is)
  • FreedMike @Tim: "...about 40 percent of us Yanks don't live in a single-family home."Keep in mind that this only describes single family **detached** homes. But plenty of other house types offer a garage you can use to charge up in - attached single family homes (townhouses, primarily), or duplex/triplex/four-plexes. Plus, lots of condos have garages built in. Add those types of housing in and that 40% figure drops by a lot. Regardless, this points out what I've been thinking for a while now - EV ownership is great if you have a garage, and inconvenient (and more expensive) if you don't. The good news if you're looking for more EV sales is that there are literally hundreds of millions of Americans who have garages. If I had one, I'd be looking very closely at buying electric next time around.
  • Matthew N Fanetti I bought a Silver1985 Corolla GTS Hatchback used in 1989 with 80k miles for $5000. I was kin struggling student and I had no idea how good the car really was. All I knew was on the test drive I got to 80 faster than I expected from a Corolla. Slowly I figured out how special it was. It handled like nothing I had driven before, tearing up backroads at speeds that were downright crazy. On the highway I had it to about 128mph on two occasions, though it took some time to get there, it just kept going until I chickened out. I was an irresponsible kids doing donuts in parking lots and coming of corners sideways. I really drove it hard, but it never needed engine repair even to the day I sold it in 1999 with 225000 miles on it, still running well - but rusty and things were beginning to crap out (Like AC, etc.). I smoked a same year Mustang GT - off the line - by revving up and dumping the clutch. Started to go sideways, but nothing broke or even needed attention. Daily driving, only needed the clutch into first. It was that smooth and well-synced. Super tight, but drivable LSD. Just awesome from daily chores to super-fun.To this day I wish I had kept it, because now I have the money to fix it. It is hard to explain how amazing this car was back in the day - and available to people with limited money - and still the highest quality.
  • Cprescott Well, duh. You will pay more to charge a golf cart than an ICE of the same size if you charge externally. Plus when you factor in the lost time, you will pay through the nose more than an ICE on lost opportunity costs. Golf car ownership savings is pure myth.