GIGA BERLIN, tweets Musk, in Tesla's latest 'big reveal'

Andrew Cummings
November 14, 2019

USA electric vehicle pioneer Tesla will build its first European factory and design centre near Berlin to produce cars "Made in Germany" as it seeks to burnish its reputation for reliability and sporting prowess.

"I'm happy that Elon is, let's say, pulling us, but I think the German industry is really now strongly investing", said Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess, speaking alongside Musk at Tuesday's event.

The facility will be Tesla's fifth major assembly facility and its fourth to follow the "giga" format-going large and vertically integrated with the company's energy products.

Who would have thought when Tesla started selling the Model S in 2012 that less than 8 years later it would have a shiny new factory in China and plans to bring EV manufacturing to Germany, the heart of automobile manufacturing in Europe?

In a later interview with trade magazine Auto Express, the serial entrepreneur said Brexit had influenced the company's choice as it had "made it too risky to put a Gigafactory in the United Kingdom".

Tesla's Berlin Gigafactory is expected to be operational by 2021, producing Model 3 sedans and Model Y crossovers.

"Elon Musk's decision in favour of Germany. adds more momentum to electric mobility than 100 summits called by the chancellor", said Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, head of the University of Duisburg-Essen's Center for Automotive Research.

Tesla has already started hiring for engineering and construction posts in the German factory, according to job postings on its website. "We have cleared initial milestones toward our manufacturing license and are working toward finalizing the license and meeting other governmental requirements before we begin ramping production and delivery of vehicles from Shanghai", the company said.

Speaking to Auto Express after making the announcement, Musk said: "Brexit [uncertainty] made it too risky to put a gigafactory in the United Kingdom".

"We definitely need to move faster than the airport, that's for sure", Musk said. "On the contrary, they also profit", said economist Alexander Schiersch, noting that demand created by Tesla will "strengthen the whole supplier industry here at home".

The effort has been a long time coming.

Musk also paid $20million to the US government over alleged securities fraud after claiming he had secured funding to take the company private.

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