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The Wall Street Journal: Tesla and other automakers look to restart production plants in Shanghai

Automakers including Tesla Inc.
TSLA,
-3.66%

and SAIC Motor Corp.
600104,
+2.12%

are aiming to resume production next week in Shanghai, people familiar with the matter said, as fears grow over the devastating impact on the economy of prolonging factory closures as a result of China’s stringent Covid-19 control measures.

Meanwhile, more cities in China tightened Covid restrictions on Friday, including Xi’an, a city of around 13 million that emerged from weeks of lockdown just months ago, a sign China’s strict Covid measures as it struggles to contain the highly contagious Omicron variant will continue to weigh on its economy.

Some economists expect China’s economic growth this year to fall well short of the official target of around 5.5%—a rate of expansion seen by senior officials as needed to create more than 11 million urban jobs. China is set to release its first-quarter economic results on Monday.

Tesla, which halted manufacturing at its Shanghai factory on March 28, is preparing to restart some production there on Monday, people familiar with the matter said. The American electric-car maker plans to start with one shift and increase to two shifts by the end of April, as it expects that by then more workers will be released from neighborhood lockdowns, one of the people said.

The plan could still change if cases surge again and the city tightens controls, the people said.

An expanded version of this story appears on WSJ.com.

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