American electric car manufacturer Tesla will temporarily halt production at its German plant due to supply chain disruptions caused by attacks by Yemeni Houthi rebels on ships in the Red Sea.
Production at the Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg location will be suspended from Jan. 29 until Feb. 12, except for a “few sub-areas,” Tesla said in a statement released on Thursday.
Since the outbreak of the Gaza war between Israel and the Islamist Hamas, the Houthi rebels have repeatedly attacked ships in the Red Sea, claiming that their targets have a connection to Israel.
In a bid to protect cargo ships traveling via the Red Sea route, the United States and the United Kingdom have carried out air strikes on Houthi positions in Yemen. China has called on all parties to exercise calm and restraint to avoid further escalation of tensions in the region.
The Red Sea is an important global trade route for many goods, including oil. In light of the attacks, large shipping companies, however, are increasingly avoiding this route, opting for a longer route that takes European ships around the Cape of Good Hope on the way to Asia.
Tesla confirmed that “the armed conflicts in the Red Sea and the associated shifts in transport routes … are also having an impact on production in Gruenheide (a municipality in Brandenburg).”
The company has been producing at the German plant since 2022. It announced recently that it seeks to double the plant’s capacity to one million vehicles per year. ■