Tesla has had a ‘very tough quarter’, Elon Musk says in leaked email

Gigafactory Shanghai had to be closed for weeks due to restrictions to control an outbreak of the coronavirus

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Tesla has had a “very tough quarter” due to supply chain issues, chief executive Elon Musk has stated in a leaked email.

Mr Musk sent the email over the weekend, as reported by Electrek, which stated: “We *actually* build great, real products that people love and make their lives and the world better. That is so profound.

“It is an honest day’s work that you can feel in your heart. Whatever else is going on in this messed-up world, know that at least what you are doing is pure goodness and that I have infinitely more respect and admiration for you than the richest person on Wall St.”

He followed up by stating that the electric car company “has [had] a very tough quarter, primarily due to supply chain and production challenges in China, so we need to rally hard to recover!”

Tesla’s issues in China come from Gigafactory Shanghai being closed for weeks due to restrictions to control an outbreak of the coronavirus.

According to reports, Tesla has been isolating thousands of workers in former factories and a military camp in China in order to keep them working.

Workers are quarantined for between two to three days to meet government requirements before they can interact with external employees. The campsite is reportedly fitted with mobile toilets and showers – shuttled between the accommodation and their work site by bus.

Employees in the first shift are reportedly sleeping on the floor of the factory. They must work 12-hour shifts, six days a week, to bring production back up to speed. They have been reportedly separated from their families and the outside world in general.

Tesla, which has disbanded its PR team, did not respond to The Independent’s numerous requests for comment.

Mr Musk has also attempted to increase workers output by telling all employees that they risk being fired if they do not return to the office and stop working remotely.

“Anyone who wishes to do remote work must be in the office for a minimum (and I mean *minimum*) of 40 hours per week or depart Tesla,” he wrote. “This is less than we ask of factory workers.”

Tesla’s stance goes against companies like Apple and Google who have adopted hybrid working.

This news comes as The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it was upgrading its investigation into a string of crashes involving Tesla electric vehicles with the company’s Autopilot driver assistance system – now investigating 830,000 Tesla cars.

The agency says that it has reports of 16 accidents, which caused one death and seven injuries, caused by Tesla vehicles in Autopilot that hit parked road maintenance and first-responder vehicles.

NHTSA says that its own analysis shows that in crashes Autopilot aborted vehicle control “less than one second prior to the first impact.”

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