Tesla Closes Its German Money Furnace: Giga Gruenheide Needs Corrections, More Workers

Elon Musk said in an interview that Giga Grünheide and Giga Austin were currently losing an insane amount of money. He even compared them to money furnaces. On July 4, Bild revealed that Tesla would close its German plant to fix some production steps and to try to hire more people. The bad news is that money furnaces keep burning money when closed – perhaps even more than when they produce anything.
Tesla halts production at Giga Gruenheide for two weeks to fix manufacturing mistakes 7 photos
Photo: Tesla/TFF/edited by autoevolution
Elon Musk warns Rivian and Lucid are “tracking toward bankruptcy”Elon Musk warns Rivian and Lucid are “tracking toward bankruptcy”Tesla Giga GruenheideTesla Giga GruenheideTesla Giga GruenheideTesla halts production at Giga Gruenheide for two weeks to fix manufacturing mistakes
According to the German media outlet, Tesla will stop Giga Grünheide for two weeks. That should help the company improve its production processes. Currently, a car body spends around three minutes in each production station. Tesla wants to reduce that time to 30 seconds, or one-sixth of the time it now spends. For a factory that only started its activities three months ago, that screams planning issues – either that or the "deliver now, fix later" motto also applies to factories.

That is far from being Tesla’s only concern with its German “money furnace.” Bild learned that many cars have to be reworked before delivery due to defects. The Twitter user jaberwock photographs and shares dozens of bodies scrapped every week, most of them painted and with doors installed. That suggests that Tesla discovered they were not good enough for production shortly before the assembly process started.

Even if they were ok, Tesla would still have a production issue. Bild states that it is producing only 1,000 bodies per week. The plan was to manufacture 10,000 bodies with 9,000 employees. Tesla has only managed to hire 4,500 workers so far.

Brandenburg's Finance minister, Jörg Steinbach, said that the EV maker is hiring around 500 new workers per month. At that pace, it would only reach 9,000 employees in nine months – or in March 2023. Bild said it needs 9,000 workers by December. After the two-week interruption, the company wants to produce cars in three shifts, which makes getting more blue-collars on board a must. Adequately training them is also mandatory.

Tesla is currently making the Model Y in Grünheide with Chinese motors. On June 26, it started postponing deliveries because these motors were failing. One of the affected owners shared that the issue was a “MOSFET Inverter Issue” in the repair invoice. According to the Twitter user mcontrol, Tesla may have replaced the chips in the motor with the wrong components. They could be the cause of the failures.

Bild said that Tesla intends to produce these motors at Giga Grünheide. The company also wants to make batteries there, which will require an expansion. Grünheide’s mayor, Arne Christiani, has removed this request from the city hall’s discussions because the representatives would probably vote against it. As you can see, it seems Tesla’s problems with its German money furnace are only beginning.

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About the author: Gustavo Henrique Ruffo
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Motoring writer since 1998, Gustavo wants to write relevant stories about cars and their shift to a sustainable future.
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