EXCLUSIVE Tesla supplier Aptiv stops some production in Shanghai over COVID issues

3 minute read

A police officer in a protective suit keeps watch next to a bridge leading to the Pudong area across the Huangpu river, after traffic restrictions amid the lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Shanghai, China March 28, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

SHANGHAI, March 29 (Reuters) - Auto parts maker Aptiv (APTV.N) on Tuesday sent home workers at a Shanghai production facility that supplies Tesla and a General Motors (GM) joint venture, citing COVID issues, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

A spokesperson for Aptiv declined to comment on the production halt but said the company was following government orders and customers' production would not be impacted.

Aptiv has a number of production sites in Shanghai's Jiading district in the western part of the city. The district has not been affected so far by the city's two-stage COVID-19 lockdown, which started in the east on Monday.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Four sources said workers at one of the sites, which makes wire harnesses, were abruptly told to head home on Tuesday. They declined to be named as the information was not public.

The affected workers were told to stay home on Wednesday and await a further notice, the sources added.

Customers of the plant include Tesla (TSLA.O) and GM's (GM.N) Shanghai joint venture with SAIC Motor Corp (600104.SS), two of the sources said.

Tesla, GM and SAIC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Wire harnesses are vital components that bundle up to 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) of cables in the typical car. They are unique to each model and vehicles cannot be built without them.

Automakers including Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) and BMW (BMWG.DE) have been scrambling to find alternative sources of wire harnesses and other parts as Russia's invasion of Ukraine - a key producer of harnesses - has halted assembly lines and disrupted complex supply chains. read more

Aptiv is one of China's largest auto wire producers and supplies almost all carmakers in China, according to the website of the Jiading district.

Besides Tesla and GM, it supplies Volkswagen's joint ventures with SAIC, as well as Ford (F.N) and Toyota (7203.T). Reuters could not immediately establish how extensive Aptiv's production halt was and when production was set to resume.

The production pause comes as Shanghai, home to 26 million people, tightened the first phase of its lockdown on Tuesday, with daily new cases hitting a record above 4,400. read more

Shanghai's western districts are set to go under lockdown on Friday until the early hours of April 5.

China's "dynamic clearing" playbook sees local authorities rapidly identify and quarantine every infected person and their close contacts, and venues where cases are found can be locked down for up to 14 days.

GM has managed to maintain production at normal levels in the face of Shanghai's lockdown by having workers sleep at the factory, sources told Reuters. Tesla on Monday suspended production for four days. read more

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
Reporting by Zhang Yan and Brenda Goh Editing by Miyoung Kim and Mark Potter

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.