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Tesla plant in Grünheide: "Significantly longer transport times"


Patrick Pleul / dpa

The electric car manufacturer Tesla has had to largely stop production in Grünheide near Berlin in Brandenburg for about two weeks due to attacks by the Yemeni Houthi militias in the Red Sea. As transport routes shift, a gap has emerged in supply chains, Tesla announced on Thursday. This will be the first time that such a production stop will occur in Grünheide from the end of January.

"Due to a lack of components, we are therefore forced to suspend vehicle production at the Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg in the period between January 29 and February 11, with the exception of a few sub-areas. Production will resume in full from February 12," the company said.

"The armed conflicts in the Red Sea and the associated shifts in transport routes between Europe and Asia via the Cape of Good Hope are also having an impact on production in Grünheide," Tesla announced. "The significantly longer transport times create a gap in the supply chains."

Military strikes against Houthi militias

Since the outbreak of the Gaza war between Israel and the Islamist Hamas, the Houthi militias in Yemen have repeatedly attacked ships with alleged Israeli connections in the Red Sea. Large shipping companies are therefore increasingly avoiding the important trade route. About ten percent of all world trade passes through the Red Sea. On Friday night, the US and Great Britain launched military strikes against the Houthi militias because of the ongoing attacks.

The Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea and provides the shortest connection by sea between Asia and Europe. The alternative route around South Africa's Cape of Good Hope is much longer.

Tesla has been manufacturing electric cars in Grünheide since March 2022. Around 11,500 people work there. Tesla wants to double production in Grünheide from the targeted 500,000 cars a year with the expansion to one million a year. According to the company, it currently produces more than 250,000 vehicles annually. The storage capacity of the production of battery cells is to increase from 50 to 100 gigawatt hours per year. Environmentalists have reservations about the expansion.