Tesla Denies Nevada Gigafactory Construction Delays

Mar 10, 2015 09:05 AM EDT | Matt Mercuro

Construction of Tesla's gigantic $5 billion battery plant in Nevada is still on schedule despite a report by a local newspaper that said the project had been delayed.

A report by The Reno Gazette-Journal said construction had been delayed at the site, citing two union job postings.

"The project is progressing and the gigafactory is on schedule," Tesla spokeswoman Alexis Georgeson told Reuters.

Tesla said in February that equipment would be installed at the plant and that the battery-pack production would start sometime in 2016.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union posted on a job board that production for "Project Tiger" had been cut back 80 percent, according to the newspaper.

"The major project in the area has been delayed at this time. Further updates will be posted as soon as we know more," a post by the IBEW Local 401 site said according to the paper.

Tesla claims to have told the paper the project was still on schedule and disputed the delays.

The plant is being created to double the world's supply of lithium-ion batteries. Battery packs made at the facility will be used in the Model S sedan at first and later for the Tesla Model 3.

Company CEO Elon Musk said last month that Tesla remains "on plan" to start battery production at the plant, which is located right outside of Reno.

The 5 million square-foot plant is expected to create 6,500 new jobs and pay an average of $25 an hour, according to Bloomberg.

The report came the same day Chinese newspaper Economic Observer reported on its site that Tesla cut 30 percent of its staff in China, or 180 jobs. The cut is under a new restructuring plan launched earlier this year after failing to meet its sales target in the largest car market in the world.

Shares in the Palo Alto, California-based electric-car maker dropped 3.4 percent to $193.88 at the close Friday. 

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