Electric car manufacturer Tesla has announced it is suspending for two weeks the bulk of production at its factory in Germany, citing a shortage of parts due to shipping delays caused by Huthi rebel attacks in the Red Sea.
The suspension was disclosed just hours before the United States and Britain announced early Friday they had carried out air strikes against the Iran-backed rebels over their repeated threats to vessels in the key waterway.
The Red Sea attacks had led to delays that created a "gap in the supply chains", resulting in production at the facility southeast of Berlin being suspended "with the exception of a few sectors", Tesla said in a statement sent to AFP.
"From February 12, production will resume in full," it added.
Since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, the Iran-backed Huthis have stepped up attacks on commercial and military vessels in the Red Sea in what they say is solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.
As a result, some shipping firms have opted to avoid the waterway, the gateway to the Suez Canal, forcing them to take a much longer route between Europe and Asia.
Early Friday morning, heavy US and British air strikes targeted an airbase, airports and a military camp in rebel-held Yemen, the Huthi's Al-Masirah TV station said, with AFP correspondents and witnesses also reporting hearing bombardments.
US President Joe Biden called the strikes a "defensive action" after the Red Sea attacks and said he "will not hesitate" to order further military action if needed.
The Tesla factory outside Berlin opened in 2022 and employs around 11,500 people, turning out about 250,000 vehicles a year, according to the company, which plans to expand the facility to double production.