Tesla‘s European factory continues to prepare for mass production, although it is currently a “money incinerator” due to its low volumes. The manufacturer does not manage -like everyone else- to achieve stability of supplies, but that is not all. Giga Berlin wasn’t offering salaries lucrative enough to quickly fill its vacancies, but Tesla has taken notice and is offering more euros for the same job.
Currently the Grünheide factory, officially Giga Berlin-Brandenburg, works a double shift, the one that starts at 06:30 and the one that starts at 14:30. Starting next Monday, July 4, the third shift will be established. For those unfamiliar with the terminology, the third shift means that the factory will run 24 hours a day. A volume of 1,000 weekly units of the Tesla Model Y Performance had recently been reached.
Despite the announced cut in Tesla’s workforce, which in the end will be limited to personnel outside the factories, Giga Berlin continues to need people. Some 5,000 souls currently work at its facilities, but by the end of the year, the goal is to reach 12,000 employees. This is a high figure if we compare it with the production centers of traditional high-volume manufacturers.
It seems to be somewhat of a paradox, given that electric cars need fewer components than thermal ones, but just do this simple calculation: 12,000 employees working three shifts will be 4,000 per shift, which is already more common. Not all automotive factories can work with a third shift since the volume does not always justify it, so having a third shift is synonymous with things going well.
Through the Grünheide employment agency, more than 600 unemployed have been placed, half of them long-term. Although we do not have more data, it is to be assumed that a good part of them could work for traditional manufacturers not long ago, so they have experience on top of that. In the previous crisis of 2008, several factories had to be closed due to excess capacity, including in Germany.
Tesla continues to hire people in Grünheide to increase production. Currently, the Tesla Model Y Great Autonomy has delivery times between October and December, and the same for the Model Y Performance, although the bulk continues to come from China. In theory, the capacity of the factory is 500,000 units per year, so 1,000 units per week are one-tenth of what could be produced (*).