Elon Musk announces plans to open Tesla Gigafactory in Germany

The S3XY fleet
Photo: Tesla|Timothy Artman

Earlier this week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced his company would open a new factory in Germany. The executive confirmed the manufacturer would construct its fourth Gigafactory in the “Berlin area.”

In August, Musk said Tesla would begin production on its European plant within 12 to 18 months with production commencing in 2021. Once operational, the facility will build batteries, powertrains, and vehicles.

Tesla’s CEO also explained why his firm chose Berlin as the location for the next Gigafactory. Musk credited the excellence of German engineering and the United Kingdom’s pending exit from the European Union as primary motivators. “Brexit [uncertainty] made it too risky to put a gigafactory in the UK,” said the billionaire.

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European Gigafactory Details

In 2016, Tesla first revealed its intention to establish a production facility in Europe. Following the announcement, the Netherlands and Portugal began lobbying Tesla to build a factory within their borders. But as time went on, the company eschewed Europe and instead established Gigafactories in Buffalo, New York, and Shanghai.

Earlier this decade, Musk told Auto Express that Tesla planned on opening a research and development center in Britain. He also said that while the firm wanted to build its first European factory on the continent, the company might establish a United Kingdom-based facility. At the time, the executive said his company would only consider a U.K. plant if the region had enough demand.

As of this writing, Tesla has not set up a research center in Britain.

In 2018, the electric carmaker again began talking about constructing a final assembly location in Europe. Notably, Musk named Germany is the “leading choice.” He further explained building a plant near “the German-French border makes sense.” In July, Tesla revealed it had narrowed down occasions for its fourth Gigafactory in Europe.

A month later, the corporation began scouting potential locations in the German state of Lower Saxony.

In a November 12 tweet, Musk said the Berlin Gigafactory would focus on producing components and the Model Y SUV.

Tesla Gigafactory 3 to Begin Mass Production

On Wednesday, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology granted Tesla permission to begin mass-producing vehicles at its Gigafactory 3 facility. The company broke ground on the plant in January and performed test assemblies earlier this month. Consequently, the corporation is now the first entirely foreign-owned automaker to operate in the Communist nation.

As a result, Tesla will now begin producing $50,000 Model 3 sedans outside the United States for the first time. The firm will now compete against domestic companies like Xpeng Motors and Nio in the world’s largest car market.

Thus far, the Palo Alto, California company’s vehicles have done well in the Sino region. Last quarter, the firm sold 6,400 units in China, most of which are Model 3s. Because of its strong sales in the area, Tesla posted a profit of $1.86 per share in Q3 2019.

Now, the manufacturer only has to secure the permission of local authorities to begin selling its popular electric vehicles. As Tesla Chairwoman Robyn Denholm predicted the firm would obtain a manufacturing license by the end of the year, Chinese consumers might be able to get their hands on fresh Model 3s imminently.