Tesla says its next electric-car factory, due to open in Germany 18 months from now, eventually will be able to make 500,000 EVs per year.
When the facility opens in July 2021, it will employ about 3,000 people and make an estimated 150,000 Model 3 sedans and Model Y crossover variants per year. Employment will expand to 8,000 if and when the $4.4 billion complex in Gruenheide is fully developed.
Plant No. 3
The European factory announcement closely followed November’s opening of a giant Tesla assembly plant in Shanghai, its first such facility outside the U.S. The first Model 3s made in China are to be delivered to retail customers in China this week.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been talking since 2014 about setting up a full-blown car plant somewhere in Europe. The company began scouting sites in August after Musk hinted in April that he favored Germany because of its strong supplier base and central European location.
Price Cuts Ahead
Tesla has been marketing its $75,000 Model S sedan in Europe since 2013. Those cars are assembled locally at a relatively small prep center in Tilburg, Netherlands, from kits supplied from its home plant in California.
The company began selling American-made Model 3s in Europe a year ago, with prices starting at about $68,000. That price is likely to drop to around $58,000 once production gets underway in Germany.
The Tesla Model 3 is certainly one of the most controversial cars to be launched in some time, with production models (a comparative handful, admittedly) presented on a stage with a throng of people treating it like it was an event with Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran, all at the same time.
Chinese electric-car startup Nio Inc. is forming a manufacturing joint venture with Beijing E-Town International Investment and Development Co., which is investing 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) in the business.
The historic plant has built—and is building—a lot of cars in its 70-year run of commercial vehicle production. Today, with the e-Golf and the GTE, it is making what are arguably the most-advanced Volkswagens out there.