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Shanghai to help Tesla restart production despite coronavirus spread

Tesla’s factory in China’s financial hub of Shanghai will restart production on February 10 with assistance to help it cope with a growing epidemic of coronavirus, a Shanghai government official stated on Saturday.

Many factories throughout China closed in late January for the Lunar New Year holiday that was initially due to end on January 30 but which was extended in a bid to contain the rise of the new flu-like virus that has killed over 700 people.

Tesla warned on January 30 that it would observe a 1-1.5 week delay in the ramp-up of Shanghai-built Model 3 cars because of the epidemic, which has severely disrupted production across China.

Tesla Vice President Tao Lin stated this week that production would resume on February 10 and that car deliveries from the factory would be temporarily delayed.

“In view of the practical difficulties key manufacturing firms consisting of Tesla have faced in resuming production, we will coordinate to make all efforts to help companies resume production as soon as possible,” Shanghai municipal government spokesman Xu Wei stated.

The $2 billion Shanghai plant is Tesla’s first outside the United States and was constructed with support from local authorities. It started production in October and started deliveries last month.

The Shanghai government also stated on Saturday it would ask banks to extend loans with preferential rates to small firms and exempt companies in hard-hit sectors such as hospitality from value-added tax, among other measures to prop up businesses during the increasing epidemic.

Such assistance would also apply to foreign firms.

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