Tesla Buys Land for German Factory
Tesla is moving right along on its plans to open a full-fledged assembly plant in Europe next year.
Over the weekend the company cinched a deal to buy a 740-acre site outside Berlin for about $45 million. Tesla hopes to begin first-phase production at the complex in July 2021.
Mega-Factory No. 3
Located in Gruenheide (population: 9,000), the new factory is expected to open with the ability to make 150,000 vehicles per year. Capacity may eventually reach 500,000. By then, the price tag on the complex could reach $4.4 billion.
The facility initially will make two models: the Model 3 midsize sedan and its crossover variant, the upcoming Model Y.
The new plant will become the company’s third full-production facility, joining similar “mega-factories” in California and Shanghai.
Like its kin, the German complex will do it all: stamping, painting, interiors, final assembly and, eventually, local battery pack production.
Side note: Tesla already operates a prep center in Tilburg, Netherlands, for cars it currently imports from the U.S. That facility installs the battery systems into pre-assembled vehicle bodies.
Tesla is getting plenty of support for its latest project from local politicians and unions. They are especially fond of the 7,000 or so jobs the plant could spawn by the time it reaches full-throttle production.
But last weekend a few hundred local citizens protested the project’s environmental threat to their hamlet. The demonstrators worry that the huge factory could drain their town’s water supply and pose a threat to wildlife in the adjoining forest.
Topology optimization cuts part development time and costs, material consumption, and product weight. And it works with additive, subtractive, and all other types of manufacturing processes, too.
According to Kunihiro Hoshi, chief engineer for the GX 470: “Three of my top goals were to create a body-on-frame vehicle with sweeping off-road performance and unibody-like on-road capability, and, of course, it had to meet the Lexus quality standard.” He met his goals. But why would anyone want to bang this vehicle around on rocks?
Many countries who once were major players from a vehicle production/export perspective are finding it difficult to even find their niche today.