Tesla to open a factory near Berlin

Elon Musk picks Brandenburg to build Tesla's new European Gigafactory.

Tesla to open a factory near Berlin

Berlin (dpa) - United States e-car manufacturer Tesla plans to open a factory in the Berlin area, company owner and celebrity entrepeneur Elon Musk said on Tuesday.

He made the announcement at the Golden Steering Wheel awards ceremony. Responding to a reporter's question, Musk said the site would be located close to the city's new BER airport, which is yet to be opened south of the city. He did not give further details.

He also said there were plans to establish an engineering and design centre in Berlin.Tesla has been looking for a location in Germany to open up a so-called "Gigafactory," a production plant for its electronic vehicles' batteries, the report said.

Musk cited Germany's expertise in the automotive sector as a reason for choosing the country. "Everyone knows that German engineering is outstanding for sure, that's part of the reason why we are locating our Gigafactory Europe in Germany," Musk said.

Late on Tuesday night, Musk tweeted that the factory would build batteries, powertrains and vehicles, starting with the Model Y. The European hub could be built by the end of 2021, according to previous reports.

Tesla built its first Gigafactory in the desert in the US state of Nevada. The company recently built a factory in China in less than six months.

It already runs an assembly plant in the Netherlands where it builds some of the Model S and X cars. Musk emphasized in his comments at the awards that the future of the company was focused on the Model 3 and Model Y.

Tesla is a frontrunner when it comes to electromobility, but has struggled with massive losses due to high costs and production delays.

It also faces competition from China, where the state is massively promoting electric cars.

The surprise announcement was met with enthusiasm by Ramona Pop, Berlin's state economy minister, who tweeted, "Those who have vision come to Berlin! Welcome to the metropolitan area, Tesla!"