Mar 22, 2022 - Economy

Tesla opens its first manufacturing factory in Europe

Elon Musk at Berlin plant opening

Elon Musk speaks during the opening of the Tesla manufacturing plant on March 22 near Berlin. Photo: Christian Marquardt - Pool/Getty Images

Tesla CEO Elon Musk was in Germany on Tuesday to mark the opening of the company's new factory near Berlin, its first in Europe.

Why it matters: The plant is Tesla's third major plant — after plants in California and Shanghai — and is expected to eventually build 500,000 electric vehicles a year, per the New York Times.

The big picture: The factory, formally called the Gigafactory Berlin, is in Grünheide, just outside Berlin.

  • The Giga Berlin plant will help meet the continent's high demand for electric vehicles, which in recent quarters saw Tesla exporting cars made in China to Europe, CNBC writes.
  • The launch saw Musk show off his dance moves and hand over the plant's first 30 Teslas.

Tesla first announced plans for the plant in 2019.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz attended the ceremony, and said that "electromobility will shape the mobility of the future," per the Times.

  • German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck described the opening as “a special day also for Germany and a special day for the mobility transformation in Germany."
  • "This is a great day for the factory," Musk said, adding that it was "another step in the direction of a sustainable future."
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