Tesla Is Said to Face a Virus Spike, Plan Second China Plant

Tesla is said to face a virus spike at its Fremont, Calif., plant, and to be planning a second facility in China.
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Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report shares firmed Tuesday following two reports, regarding its production and its plans.

In one report, Elektrek cites Chinese media talk that the Palo Alto, Calif., electric-vehicle maker will open a second factory in China. 

And in a second report, Electrek cited an internal company leak that Tesla workers have suffered a spike in covid-19 exposure, primarily at its Fremont, Calif., factory.

As for China, Tesla already is pushing cars out at its Gigafactory in Shanghai. It has been in operation for less than a year, and is expected to achieve an annualized production rate of 200,000 cars by year-end, Electrek reports.

With the biggest electric vehicle market in the world, China could offer Tesla a major sales opportunity. Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has said that Tesla needs more factories in China.

Tesla and local government officials have met to “promote cooperation,” according to an official Chinese statement.

But that cooperation could concern the establishment of sales and maintenance centers rather than factories, China Securities Journal reported.

As for the coronavirus news, Electrek said it obtained “internal data from Tesla showing that the automaker has had over 1,550 employees ‘affected’ by Covid-19 cases.

“’Affected’ doesn’t necessarily mean that the employees tested positive for the virus,” Electrek said. “But Tesla appears to classify ‘affected’ workers who have been exposed to other workers who were confirmed to have the virus."

More than 130 Tesla workers have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Electrek.

Tesla shares recently traded at $1,522.79, up 1.7%. They have more than tripled this year to date.