SHANGHAI — Tesla Inc. on Wednesday made its first exports from China since reopening a Shanghai factory on April 19, with a shipment of 4,767 vehicles destined for Slovenia, the government-backed media outlet Shanghai Observer reported.
The Glovis Splendor vehicle carrier left port early on Wednesday, bound for the Slovenian port of Koper, according to the Shanghai-based news outlet.
"Tesla was in a big hurry to load cars freshly off the production lines onto the vessel yesterday afternoon," Shanghai Observer said, citing a customs official.
Tesla has also arranged for 4,100 EVs to be shipped on Friday, it said, adding that the automaker aims to export 300,000 vehicles from Shanghai in 2022.
Tesla did not export any China-made Model 3s or Model Ys from the Shanghai plant in April, the China Passenger Car Association said on Tuesday, as China's zero-COVID-19 policies disrupted production and deliveries.
The company's sales in China slumped 98 percent in April from a month earlier, the data also showed.
Tesla aims to increase output at the Shanghai assembly plant to 2,600 electric vehicles a day starting May 16, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters, as it seeks to restore production to levels before the city locked down to control COVID-19.
Tesla, which is now only running one shift, plans to add more at the Shanghai plant starting May 16 to achieve the goal, the memo reviewed by Reuters showed.
That would bring weekly output to 16,900 vehicles based on Tesla's established work week at the factory, according to Reuters calculations.
It would also represent a return to production levels at the plant before Shanghai's lockdown in late March forced the company to suspend work there.
Tesla declined to provide immediate comment.
Before the lockdown, Tesla operated three shifts at the Shanghai plant. The factory, which makes Tesla's Model 3 and Model Y, reopened on April 19 after a 22-day closure, its longest since the site opened in late 2019.
The Shanghai lockdown has also been challenging for Tesla and other manufacturers because of the complication of getting parts from suppliers.
In one example, Aptiv, which supplies wire harnesses for Tesla, was not able to resume production in mid-April and there were concerns it could have a lingering effect on the automaker's production, according to a person familiar with the matter.
But Tesla managed to secure wire harnesses from other suppliers and Aptiv received approval from authorities to resume production at the end of April, the person said.
Aptiv said Friday that "all wiring harnesses supplied came from Aptiv."