Electric vehicle maker Tesla to build factory near Berlin

A Tesla factory in the Chinese city of Shanghai on Nov 8 2019

The Shanghai Gigafactory is Tesla's first assembly plant outside of the United States and the first wholly-owned foreign auto factory in China.

As Tesla is nearing completion of its third Gigafactory located in close proximity to Shanghai, Elon Musk announces that the company's fourth Gigafactory will be constructed just outside Berlin.

With Musk reportedly aiming to have his factory up and running in Germany in 2021, the electric race between the USA upstart and Germany's legacy carmakers is officially on. Combined, they generate annual turnover of £82bn and are responsible for 14.4pc of the UK's goods exports: 80pc of the 1.5m cars built in Britain are sold overseas, mostly to Europe. He wrote on Twitter that the new plant "will build batteries, powertrains & vehicles, starting with Model Y".

Musk's appearance at the awards ceremony is another example of Tesla's efforts to co-opt marketing tactics employed by German manufacturers, which have a reputation for quality.

A sign welcomes the visitors at the edge of the village of Gruenheide, Germany which is the reported location of Tesla's Gigafactory.

"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.

While much of Germany's auto industry is based in the south, Berlin has become a hub for tech start-ups since the fall of the Wall 30 years ago.

Schmidt said that while Tesla will benefit from lower-wages, Berlin's attractive reputation, and the "Made in Germany" halo, the Gigafactory could also mean a big, tangible benefit to German carmakers, helping them "bring down crucial EV costs with more centralised production resulting in an ever-expanding supplier network".

"Eastern Germany as a whole will take a big step forward through such a massive investment by Tesla in an important industrial future", said Schiersch.

"So far, subsidies haven't been discussed", he told reporters in Berlin.

Officials in Germany hope the plant could create as many as 7,000 jobs in production with many more in research and design. It will compete with electric cars from local contenders such as NIO Inc. and Xpeng Motors, as well as global manufacturers including BMW AG and Daimler AG. The other two Tesla models, X and S, sold a lot less, confirming the Model 3 as the flagship auto it was conceived as: the affordable luxury EV that would turn Tesla into a mainstream carmaker.



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