HALLE - Tesla's German Gruenheide plant still has some ramping up to do, the economy minister of the state the factory is located in said on Thursday, adding that production should be sped up somewhat to reduce customer waiting times.
"That has to grow up a bit more," Brandenburg's Economy Minister Joerg Steinbach said at a podium discussion organised by German union IG Metall on industrial prospects for eastern Germany.
The electric vehicle maker was recruiting 200 to 300 people a week even as other companies in the region struggled to find talent, the minister added, with the labour force now totalling around 9,000 people.
But the expected delivery of Tesla's basic Model Y to customers in Germany has slipped to February-March, according to the carmaker's website, from January-March prior to a price cut of 17% last week.
Tesla hit an output of 3,000 cars per week in late December, more than two months later than planned, according to a memo seen by Reuters. IG Metall said at a recent conference that workers had complained to the union about long working hours and frequent weekend shifts as the carmaker attempts to speed up production. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company cut prices by between about 1% to almost 17% on the Model 3 and the Model Y last week in Germany, following similar moves in other countries, with the best-selling Model Y now selling for 44,890 euros ($48,499), down 9,100 euros.
(Reporting by Victoria Waldersee; Writing by Christoph Steitz; editing by Matthias Williams, Kirsten Donovan)