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From CATL to Tesla, Toyota, Auto Industry Hit by Heatwave in Southwestern China

若离

若离

· 8月19日

Sichuan province and Chongqing, a city separated from the province to be a municipality directly under the central government in 1997, boast one of key auto industry clusters in China.

BEIJING, August 18  (TMTPOST)— From the top battery maker to the auto manufacturing giants, the auto industry is suffering from a power crisis due to the unprecedentedly extreme heatwave across Southwestern China.

Source: Visual China

Sichuan province and Chongqing, a city separated from the province to be a municipality directly under the central government in 1997, boast one of key auto industry clusters in China. Manufactures in these regions have a total capacity of 2.7245 million vehicles in 2021, accounting for 10.3% of the country’s annual capacity.

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., (CATL), the world’s largest battery company, has halted production of a facility located in Yibin, a city in the southeast of Sichuan province, as the local government announced a widespread power supply limit in industries from August 15 to 20 to ensure the supply for residential homes, Chinese digital media outlet Jiemian cited people with knowledge of the matter. CATL and Yibin authorities didn’t comment on the report. The facility is one of CATL’s major lithium battery production bases. CATL has invested more than 30 billion yuan in the construction since 2019. It announced last December to input another RMB24 billion for the facility’s expansion plan.

Engley, a Taiwan-based auto parts maker, said authorities of Sichuan’s capital Chengdu informed it subsidiary that the city started to stop electricity supply for industrial customers from August 20. In Neijiang, a city in the southeast of Sichuan, all the production lines in a unit of Haowu, an engine crankshaft company have shut down and the company expected production and operation of the unit to be affected in the future.

The power crunch affects many auto makers at home and abroad at different degree.  Japanese leading auto manufacturer Toyota has shut a factory in Chengdu and the suspension wound last until August 20, according to a spokesperson.  Answering questions of investors, Chang'an Automobile Co., Ltd., a Chinese state-owned manufacturer headquartered in Chongqing, said it would actively follow the browout direction of the local government to halt production.  Tesla announced all of its charging stations in Chongqing have to offer limited services or shut temporarily, and all but two charging stations in Chengdu shut or in limited operation as of Wednesday.  

It was reported that the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Information reached out to Sichuan authorities to secure power to the auto suppliers. The move was made in response to requests fromTesla and SAIC Motor Crop., which asked Shanghai government to help avoid supply disruption owing to a possible power crisis in the province.  

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