Top automakers such as Tesla and SAIC (Volkswagen’s partner in China) are slowly rolling towards a restart after weeks of shutdowns of their plants in Shanghai, China’s worst coronavirus outbreak site, in two years. Baidu and self-driving unicorn Pony.ai received permits to offer fully autonomous rides to the Beijing public in late April, the first service of its kind in the country. Domestic battery suppliers saw profits plunge in the first quarter amid rising raw material costs, thanks to a strong demand for electric vehicles (EVs) that utterly outstrips supply.

Shanghai’s Covid outbreak continues to weigh on auto production through May

As Tesla and Volkswagen’s plants in Shanghai slowly resume production, China’s auto industry is struggling to regain the momentum lost during a citywide lockdown that has dealt a significant blow to local businesses over the past two months. Government officials said on May 13 that employees from 95% of the companies on a whitelist of 666 firms prioritized for business resumption are now getting back to work, with automakers and suppliers accounting for more than a third of the total.

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Jill Shen

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @yushan_shen