Tesla plans to take on the German luxury car makers in their own backyard.
The electric car maker’s headline grabbing boss Elon Musk has revealed the company will build a new mega factory in Germany.
Th move sets the stage for the American brand to push deeper into enemy territory and broaden the beachhead it established earlier this year when it first started selling vehicles in Europe.
Musk said: “we’ve decided to put the Tesla Gigafactory Europe in the Berlin area.” The company will also set up an engineering and design centre in Berlin.
Musk tweeted that the planned factory company would focus on building the coming Model Y SUV.
Will build batteries, powertrains & vehicles, starting with Model Y
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 12, 2019
Earlier this year Musk revealed the seven-seat compact SUV which will be priced from US$39,000 ($55,000) and is claimed to reach 100km/h in a supercar-rivalling 3.5 secs.
He detailed four models: the Standard Range, Long Range, Dual Motor and Performance. The latter three models will go on sale in the US in third quarter of next year and the cheaper Standard Range will follow in the second quarter of 2021.
There will be a panoramic sunroof and a range of up to 482km.
“It has the functionality of an SUV but will ride like a sports car. Will be really tight in corners,” Musk said at the time.
Musk also said that the Model Y will be the safest SUV in its class.
“We design with safety as the number one goal. People think performance but safety first is the most important thing.”
The German factory has huge ramifications not only for Tesla but for the established German prestige brands such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz who are lagging behind Tesla in bringing electric cars to market.
Audi is set to launch the zero-emissions e-tron SUV and Mercedes-Benz is preparing the EQC electric SUV for later this year. Volkswagen has detailed the coming mass-market ID 3 small electric car, but that vehicle is still a couple of years away from Australian shores.
Tesla’s announcement comes after the German government said it would boost subsidies for buyers of electric cars.
The new factory will add some much needed capacity to Tesla, which currently builds all its global vehicles in its Freemont, California factory. Tesla’s new China factory will come on steam shortly, too.
But the move will also add some manufacturing prestige to the brand. Germany is known for its superior build quality. And the move to open an engineering and design centre will also help the burgeoning company draw in some talent from the big manufacturers.
– with wires
Originally published as Tesla turns tables on the Germans