Skip to main content

Volkswagen and Tesla Hit a Major Speed Bump

Shanghai, home to factories of many automakers, has become a ghost town.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

Volkswagen  (VWAGY) - Get Free Report and Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Free Report are among the companies feeling the impact of lockdowns in Shanghai as China's most populous city grapples with a surge in Covid-19 cases.

A spokesperson for the German vehicle maker said the company will suspend production at its Anting facility from April 1 to April 5. 

'The Covid Situation in Quite Dynamic'

"During this time we will carry out maintenance work in the factory," a company spokesperson told TheStreet. "The Covid situation in China is quite dynamic and we usually go day by day."

Volkswagen said it is extending the upcoming Qing Ming Holidays, which run from April 3 to April 5. 

The Qing Ming holiday, also known as Tomb Sweeping Day or Pure Brightness Festival, is a traditional public holiday. 

The spokesperson said that the company had to partially stop production in Anting Wednesday due to a lack of supply.

A city of 25 million people, Shanghai is being locked down in two stages due to the high and increasing Covid cases. The city is being divided roughly along the Huangpu River.

One part of Shanghai City was locked down since Monday. This includes the Pudong district, where the city's financial hub and international airport are located.

As of April 1st, the other river side, including Anting where the factory is located, will be in lock down. 

IPOs Halted

The citywide lockdown will be China’s biggest since the 76-day lockdown of Wuhan in early 2020.

In addition to Volkswagen, Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Free Report has cancelled plans to resume production at its Shanghai factory on Friday and Saturday, according to an internal memo, further delaying reopening of the manufacturing hub for its Model 3 and Model Y cars.

The Shanghai factory suspended production from Monday to Thursday.

Volkswagen has been stepping up its plan to compete with Tesla and other carmakers in the electric vehicle space.

At least 16 companies said they have halted IPO processes for Shanghai's tech-focused STAR market and Shenzhen's CHINext bourse for startups, Nikkei Asai reported

Four of the companies blamed the current wave of COVID-19 infections for the suspension.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange issued a statement Sunday saying it would offer IPO consultations online. The bourse has also waived listing fees.

Social media from Shanghai included a video clip of a robot dog walking through empty streets barking out orders through a loudspeaker.

'Shanghai is Now a Ghost Town'

Another video clip showed shoppers getting into fist fights as they try to buy groceries. The video, posted by Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist, also shows barren store shelves.

"Shanghai is now a ghost town in the parts of the city now under lockdown," Feigl-Ding said in another tweet, which included "eerie drone footage."

He also tweeted footage of the Pudong World Expo Center, which he said is "currently used to house thousands of Covid cases."

"TIPPING POINT--I seriously believe China is at a tipping point," he said in a follow-up tweet. "Either they contain this #BA2 Omicron wave or else they will suffer a world of hurt. It’s literally make or break for China. And the world will suffer if China can’t contain it."

In January 2020, Feigl-Ding, who was born in Shanghai, sounded an early alarm about Covid-19 and called for preparedness. His call went viral on Twitter and was picked up by the news media.

The Shanghai government has admitted it was ill-prepared for the latest wave of Covid-19 infections, according to the South China Post, and had failed to meet all the needs of people in areas under tough restrictions.