Tesla Inc temporarily halted some operations at its factory in Shanghai last month as a global shortage of semiconductors hit the electric vehicle pioneer in one of its most important markets, people familiar with the matter said.
Part of a production line at the China plant was halted for about four days because of a lack of key chips, the people said, asking not to be identified because the details are private.
One particular shortage had to do with the availability of electronic control units, small devices that control one or several electrical systems in a vehicle, one of the people said.
That caused output delays mainly for Tesla’s Model Y sports utility vehicle crossover, the person said.
Production is now back to normal, the people said.
Representatives for Tesla in China did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Intense competition for chips has affected a raft of industries over the past year, with the COVID-19 pandemic boosting demand for electronics, but interrupting supply chains.
With semiconductors now used in a vehicle’s computers, sensors and other equipment, automakers globally have lost revenue as shortages affected their output.
Toyota Motor Corp, the world’s biggest automaker, has said it cut production by 40 percent this month, while India’s largest automaker by deliveries, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, has also said that volumes would likely drop to about 40 percent from regular levels.
On Wednesday, Chinese electric vehicle maker Nio Inc (??) said that it is struggling with getting supply from manufacturing partners in Malaysia, where COVID-19 is flaring again, and China’s Nanjing.
In China, Tesla in July shipped about 33,000 vehicles locally and to overseas markets.
The Palo Alto, California-based company previously halted some production at an assembly plant in the US for about two weeks in February due to backlogs at ports and snow storms that affected ground transport.
Retail sales of vehicles in China — the world’s biggest market for electric vehicles — declined 6.4 percent in July from a year earlier to 1.52 million units, China’s Passenger Car Association statistics showed.
Preliminary data showed that last month’s sales were expected to fall 13 percent, the association said on Wednesday.
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