Tesla will build its first European factory in Berlin, Germany, boss Elon Musk has confirmed. Musk announced the Berlin decision at a vehicle industry awards ceremony on Wednesday night hosted by the German tabloid Bild.
Speculation has been ongoing as to where the Fremont, California-headquartered auto, solar and battery energy storage technologies company would put its next gigawatt-scale manufacturing facility, following the first plant, in Nevada, and the apparently stalled solar production site in Buffalo, New York.
'Leccy vehicle baron and space botherer Elon Musk has unveiled a surprising pick of Berlin for the company's European "Gigafactory 4", quickly following up by blabbing to vehicle mag Auto Express that "Brexit had made it too risky to put a Gigafactory in the United Kingdom".
The company had earlier said it chose a location near Berlin for a new design center and plant to make batteries, powertrains and vehicles, offering a major boost to the German capital.
Tesla is estimated to have some 30 per cent of the European market for battery-powered cars.
The 48-year-old reportedly hopes to begin European production by 2021.
"Everyone knows that German engineering is outstanding, for sure".
Berlin's minister in charge of economic affairs, Ramona Pop, told public broadcaster RBB there had been talks about creating 6,000 to 7,000 jobs in production alone, with hundreds or even thousands more in areas such as design, software or research. The carmaker is also gearing up to open its factory in Shanghai.
But there is also no doubt Musk's move "puts pressure on the Europeans and the Germans", said Christoph Schalast, professor at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
The effort has been a long time coming.
Tesla said it delivered 97,000 vehicles - 79,600 Model 3s and 17,400 Model S and X vehicles - in its latest quarter, just short of the 99,000 it predicted.
In court papers Musk has claimed that the phrase "pedo" is "aimed at mocking a person's appearance and demeanor, not an accusation of pedophilia".
Its plan to start production in another continent also comes as the auto industry struggles with export restrictions in the form of trade tariffs.