Tesla is building its first full-scale factory in Europe, and it has chosen Germany for the project. Some have raised questions about how Tesla will be able to navigate the European red tapes for such a major project, but VW’s CEO says that it should be a better “environment” for making cars than California.
Last week, Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla is going to build Gigafactory 4 in the “Berlin area.”
While Tesla has a final assembly factory in the Netherlands, Gigafactory 4 is going to be Tesla’s first full-scale factory in Europe.
It is expected to be a complicated, multibillion-dollar project, and some have raised questions about Tesla facing some difficulties with European regulations.
During a call with analysts and investors on Monday, VW CEO Herbert Diess was more optimistic, saying that he sees Germany as a better environment to build cars in than in California (via Bloomberg):
What Tesla probably is looking for is the environment, the infrastructure, to build high-quality cars, which is probably much more the case here in Germany than on the West Coast of the United States.
When announcing Gigafactory 4, Musk did mention that Germany’s reputation for solid engineering talent was part of the decision’s process.
Germany has a long history of building cars, and they have a large, qualified workforce to do so.
That workforce is led by unions that have a lot of power in Germany.
At its Advanced Automation group, Tesla has run into some trouble with Germany’s unions before.
Earlier this summer, Musk said that he expects Gigafactory 4 construction will be “well under way” within the next 12 to 18 months and will have the European Gigafactory operational by the end of 2021.
Tesla has been working on its European Gigafactory for the past three years. I am sure that they have done their due diligence before going with Germany, and more specifically, with the local government for the Berlin region.
The automaker also has some experience in Germany through the acquisition of Grohmann, which became the Advanced Automation group.
Speaking of, the group is likely going to be a big part of the building of the Gigafactory 4.
The most interesting part is likely going to be how Tesla deals with the local unions, which are somewhat different from the American unions.
But it’s not like Tesla is not having some issues with American unions, either.
In other words, they both have their pros and cons, so I doubt it’s going to be that much of an issue.
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