Elon Musk: Tesla to start building automobiles in Berlin factory

Tesla CEO Elon Musk factory Germany
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Tesla chief executive officer (CEO) Elon Musk has announced that the company will be building cars in Berlin, where its second factory outside the US is located.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that its second factory outside the US is in Berlin, Germany. The announcement was made less than three weeks after the company started trial production of cars in China.


According to Musk, the Berlin plant will be producing batteries, powertrains and vehicles, "starting with the Model Y" but is also expected to build the company's best-selling car, the Model 3.

In Germany, Tesla will be competing in the electric car category with Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW. Volkswagen recently made an aggressive move by announcing that it is planning to invest $33 billion to convert its entire product lineup into electric-powered over the next four years.

At an awards ceremony in Berlin, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess met Musk in person and praised him for showing that electric cars are capable of competing with vehicles powered by fossil fuels. However, Diess eluded to the looming competition between the carmakers by saying: "I'm happy that Elon is pulling us, but I think the German industry is really now strongly investing — and we will keep you alert."


Meanwhile, Germany's economics minister Peter Altmaier referred to the new Tesla factory as a vote of confidence in his country. Altmaier said: "The decision by Tesla to build a highly modern factory for electric cars in Germany is further proof of the attractiveness of Germany as an automotive manufacturing base."

In an interview with a trade publication, Musk mentioned that he had considered the United Kingdom for the location of its next factory but it lost out because of Brexit. He argued: "Brexit [uncertainty] made it too risky to put a Gigafactory in the UK."