Chip shortage forces Tesla to briefly idle Model 3 production line

Driving home the point that cars are computers, the global auto industry is reeling from a global shortage of microchips. Several major automakers have announced shutdowns or slowdowns because of the supply bottleneck.

The shortage appears to have forced Tesla to briefly shut down its Model 3 production line at Fremont.

An unnamed source told Bloomberg that Tesla recently informed workers in Fremont that the Model 3 line would be idled for about two weeks. No reason was given for the move, but Tesla recently said that capacity issues at ports and semiconductor shortages were affecting its supply chain.

Now Elon Musk tells us that the stoppage was shorter than feared. “Fremont shut down for two days (parts shortages) & restarted yesterday,” tweeted the Iron Man.

However, more volatility could be in store as cars increasingly compete with computers and consumer gadgets for chips.

Samsung, which produces a chip used in Tesla’s Full Self-Driving computer, was forced to shut down its semiconductor plant in Austin, Texas last week, because of the freaky cold weather and resulting power outages.

In a 10-K filing with the SEC earlier this month, Tesla acknowledged the semiconductor scarcity: “A global shortage of microchips has been reported since early 2021, and the impact to us is yet unknown. The unavailability of any component or supplier could result in production delays, idle manufacturing facilities, product design changes and loss of access to important technology and tools for producing and supporting our products.”

Source: Bloomberg via Electrek