Now that Tesla has slashed pricing on its cars, the electric carmaker's Berlin-based Gigafactory is struggling to keep up with demand. This follows the plant's labor shortages and an inadequate water supply to support an expansion.
German Model Y base orders will be fulfilled in February or March as opposed to the initial January to March delivery date. Long Range and Performance trims remain on time because of their relatively lower price cuts.
The production bottleneck has gotten the attention of Brandenburg's Economy Minister Joerg Steinbach who says production output "has to grow up a bit more". Tesla's current struggle is that it does not have enough workers. Only 7,000 employees were recruited to build Model 3 and Y units which is much less than its initial goal of 12,000 workers.
Because of this, Telsa failed to meet its 500,000-unit goal last year. Germany's manufacturing sector is competitive and legacy brands like Volkswagen offer better salaries. Tesla currently pays 20% less than VW and struggles with an inexperienced management team.
200 to 300 workers are being recruited from the brand's Berlin factory every week which has increased its workforce to 9,000 employees. Local labor officials say that long working hours and weekend shifts are proving to be a concern. Tesla has tried importing workers from Poland, but the language barrier creates difficulties.
Tesla's Shanghai factory head Tom Zhu was recently called to the brand's Texas facility for its production issues. He has been credited for guiding the plant through the pandemic lockdown so his services may come in handy at the German Gigafactory.