U.S. electric automaker Tesla Inc prepares to slash on-site staff at its Nevada battery plant by about 75% because of the coronavirus pandemic, the local county manager stated on Thursday.
The move comes following its Japanese battery partner Panasonic stated it would decrease operations at the Nevada factory this week before shutting it for 14 days.
The factory produces electric motors and battery packs for Tesla’s well known Model 3 sedans.
“Tesla has informed us that the Gigafactory in Storey County is decreasing on-site staff by roughly 75% in the coming days,” Austin Osborne stated in a post on the county’s website.
No further information was and it was unclear how many workers were hired in the factory. Tesla did not immediately replied to a Reuters request for comment.
The Reno Gazette Journal, which previously reported the planned suspension, stated Panasonic has about 3,500 workers at the Nevada plant.
Tesla stated last week it would temporarily stop production at its vehicle factory in San Francisco Bay Area from end of March 23, and also at its New York solar roof tile factory.
However, CEO Elon Musk stated the company will resume the New York plant as soon as possible to manufacture ventilators to deal with the coronavirus crisis.
Elon Musk this month downplayed the threat of the coronavirus, by saying that people were much more likely to die from a car crash than coronavirus, adding that the virus was not even among “the top 100 health risks in the United States”.
Two workers of Tesla have tested positive for coronavirus but have been working from home for the last two weeks.
About 104,256 people in the US have been confirmed as being infected with the coronavirus. The virus has killed 1,704 people in the country.