Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla, one of the world’s best-known producers of electric cars, has announced that the company’s new factory for the European market will be built in Germany.
New Tesla factory will be near Berlin-Brandenburg airport
Speaking during a ceremony at the Golden Steering Wheel awards in Berlin, Musk announced that the company’s new car and battery factory (“Gigafactory”) will be “in the Berlin area” – more specifically, near the new airport in Berlin-Brandenburg. “Everyone knows that German engineering is outstanding and that’s part of the reason we are locating our Gigafactory Europe in Germany,” he said.
Musk also said that the firm was planning on setting up a design hub in Berlin as well. “We are going to create an engineering and design centre in Berlin because I think Berlin has some of the best art in the world.”
Berlin factory would create thousands of jobs
The move into Germany marks a major step in Tesla’s worldwide expansion. Just last month the auto company’s factory in China commenced production. Musk was not clear about when operations would commence in Berlin, but media reports have suggested 2021 as a possible starting date.
While the German newspaper Bild estimated that the new factory could create up to 10.000 new jobs, other calculations have been slightly more restrained. The Berlin state government revised this figure to closer to 7.000. The company has already started listing openings at the German factory on its website.
Good news for German government
Musk’s announcement spells good news for Germany, where the government is making major efforts to promote the development and use of electric cars through subsidies and other financial incentives.
Industry experts expect that the arrival of Tesla on German soil will spur on local competitors like Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler, massively speeding up innovation in the industry. Tesla currently holds some 30 percent of the European market for battery-operated cars.