Tesla to build first European factory in Germany


Speaking at the Golden Steering Wheel Awards, Musk said last night the new European Gigafactory battery facility would be based in the Berlin 'burbs, close to the site of the as-yet-unopened Willy Brandt Airport at Berlin Brandenburg.

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?

"Everyone knows that German engineering is outstanding, and that's part of the reason we are locating our Gigafactory Europe in Germany", he said.

In response, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said the decision marked a "great success" for Germany, and was a milestone in the production of electric cars and batteries. He said the factory will be near the new Berlin airport.

Mass production of the auto will start in 2021 and the vehicle will be sold under the Hengchi brand, China Evergrande said in a statement on Tuesday. He said: "Cell production is highly automated". And the Model 3 commands a higher average price ($50,528) than the 3 Series ($46,477), according to Bloomberg's estimate and data cited from Edmunds.

Elon Musk has fueled hopes that he would bring a Tesla R&D base, if not a factory, to the United Kingdom for years now, but it would seem that he has had a change of heart - and that Brexit had something to do with the u-turn. Musk previously said that he would like the European facility to be operational by 2021.

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The effort has been a long time coming. "We offered various locations and this one suited Tesla", Woidke said.

Earlier this month, Tesla surprised the stock market by posting a profit of $143m for its third quarter, a light moment after it lost over $1bn in the first half of the year amid struggles to control costs around its production lines.

The Model 3 sedans were assembled in the company's Shanghai Gigafactory, of which construction began in January.

Tesla has started giving media test drives for its first made-in-China Model 3 at its brand-new Shanghai Gigafactory 3, Electrek reported, a mere nine months after breaking ground on the site.

Tesla has been very successful so far in challenging the status quo in the luxury vehicle segment, especially after the launch of the Model 3, which has become a bestseller all over the world.