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China In-Focus — Tesla denies halting production at Shanghai factory; Geely takes stake in Renault Korea

BEIJING (Reuters) – Electric vehicle maker Tesla has denied halting production at its Shanghai factory, despite reports that it has halted most operations due to issues securing parts.

Reuters reported that according to an internal memo seen by the news agency, the plant plans to make fewer than 200 vehicles on Tuesday – far fewer than the roughly 1,200 units it has been building every day since shortly after reopening on Tuesday. April 19 following a 22- day closure.

Two sources familiar with the matter previously said supply issues forced the factory to halt production on Monday.

The company refuted the report, saying it had not halted production at the site, although a spokesperson for the US automaker acknowledged it was experiencing some disruption to logistics amid the lockdown. long standing Covid-19 in the city.

Shanghai is in its sixth week of an intensified COVID-19 lockdown that has tested manufacturers’ ability to operate amid tight restrictions on the movement of people and materials.

Tesla had planned just last week to ramp up production to pre-lockdown levels by next week.

It was not immediately clear when the current supply issues might be resolved, said the people, who asked not to be identified because production plans are private.

Chinese Geely takes a stake in Renault Korea

China’s Geely Automobile will buy just over a third of Renault’s Korean unit for around $200 million, potentially helping it boost US exports and freeing up funds for the French automaker to invest in its electric business .

Renault, which can assemble 300,000 vehicles a year at its plant in Busan, South Korea, is in a turnaround aimed at boosting its margins and separating its electric vehicle business to catch up with rivals such as Tesla.

The French company’s decision to sell the stake to Geely – which owns Volvo Cars and a 9.7% stake in Daimler AG – follows the two companies’ announcement in January to develop hybrid vehicles for Korea from the South and overseas, produced at the Busan factory.

For Geely, which has typically grown its business through global partnerships, the deal goes beyond selling cars in South Korea and is a way for the Chinese automaker to export cars made in South Korea. to America, said a person close to the company.

“It’s an open door to the United States,” said the person, who declined to be named because the plans are confidential.

(Contributed by Reuters)

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