Tesla chief executive officer Elon Musk said the company would begin building cars in Berlin, including batteries, powertrains, and vehicles. The Berlin factory would be the company’s second factory outside the United States.
In late October, Musk said Tesla was ahead of schedule on trial production of cars at a Gigafactory in Shanghai.
“There’s not enough time tonight to tell all the details,” Musk said in an onstage interview following an awards ceremony. “But it’s in the Berlin area, and it’s near the new airport,” Musk later said in a tweet.
The German factory is expected to produce the Model 3.
“Everyone knows that German engineering is outstanding and that’s part of the reason we’re locating our gigafactory Europe in Germany,” Musk said. “Berlin rocks,” he added.
Tesla had been considering the U.K. as a possible manufacturing site but ultimately opted not to. In an interview with the U.K. publication Auto Express, Musk said, “Brexit [uncertainty] made it too risky to put a Gigafactory in the U.K.”
Musk made his remarks onstage with the chief executive officer of Volkswagen, Herbert Diess, “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,” Diess said to Musk.
Volkswagen has said it would invest $33 billion to electrify its entire product lineup in the next four years and is seen as the most aggressive of the traditional automakers in targeting the electric-automobile market.
“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,” German economics minister Peter Altmaier said in a statement.
Musk also said the company would create an engineering and design center in Berlin. “I think Berlin has some of the best art in the world,” Musk said.