Musk says Tesla's new car factories 'losing billions of dollars'

By Hyunjoo Jin
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Tesla Inc.'s new car factories in Texas and Berlin are "losing billions of dollars" as they struggle to ramp up production due to battery shortages and port problems in China, Chief Executive Elon Musk said recently.
“Both the factories in Berlin and in Austin are huge money furnaces right now. OK? It's really like a huge roaring sound, which is the sound of money on fire," Musk said in an interview with Tesla Owners Silicon Valley, an official Tesla-approved club. in Austin, Texas on March 31.
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The club divided its interview with Musk into three parts, the last of which was released on Wednesday.
Musk said Tesla's Texas plant is producing a "tiny" number of cars because of problems ramping up production of its new "4680" batteries and because tooling to make its conventional 2170 batteries "is stuck at the port in China."
The COVID shutdowns in Shanghai, China "have been very, very difficult," he said. The shutdown not only affected car production at the Tesla plant in Shanghai, but also at the California plant, which uses some Chinese-made vehicle parts.
"The last two years have been an absolute nightmare of supply chain disruptions, one thing at a time, and we're not out yet," Musk said.
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Tesla's overwhelming concern, he said, is "How do we keep the factories running so we can pay people and not go bankrupt?"
Musk said earlier this week that a 10 percent cut in Tesla's workforce will come over a three-month period. The richest man in the world also said a US recession was more likely than not.
Tesla earlier this year started production at factories in Berlin and Texas, both of which are crucial to the leading electric carmaker's growth ambitions.
Musk said he expects Tesla to start delayed production of its Cybertruck electric pickup trucks in mid-2023.
(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin and Joe White; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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