Not for the first time in its history, Tesla (TSLA 2.05%) stock was on a bit of a rollercoaster on Friday. Shares of the bellwether electric vehicle (EV) company rose nearly 2% higher during the trading day before cooling off; in late afternoon trading, they were down by almost the same percentage. This had much to do with hot rumors of a production ramp-up.
Several media reports published late Thursday and early Friday stated that Tesla aims to increase the output of its Shanghai gigafactory. This is the EV giant's main production facility in Asia; the company's Model 3 sedan and Model Y SUV are manufactured there.
According to Reuters, which said that its reporters had seen an internal company memo on the matter, Tesla aims to produce 2,600 vehicles per day at the plant starting Monday, May 16. This will be done by adding more shifts since at present there is only one operating.
The factory is not at full capacity due to the resurgent coronavirus. Authorities had put Shanghai in lockdown starting in late March, a move that shuttered the Tesla facility for nearly one month -- the longest pause since the plant opened in late 2019. Since restarting production on April 19, it has operated only one shift per day. Prior to the lockdown, it was working three shifts.
Tesla hasn't said anything publicly about its apparent plans to ramp up production, but the radio silence is entirely in character for the typically tight-lipped company.
If the media reports are true and Tesla does end up soon returning the Shanghai plant to at least its "original" production levels, it would certainly be a positive development for the company and its shareholders. We should find out in the coming days whether those reports are accurate.