A declaration of intent has been signed with the state of Brandenburg, and the construction of the Gigafactory in Germany is expected to start in the first quarter of next year.
"A leading politician" offered that timeframe to Automotive News under anonymity, and Elon Musk made it clear that Berlin Brandenburg international airport will be extremely close to the European production plant. An engineering facility and design center are also in the pipeline along with battery and powertrain production.
Musk tweeted that the Model Y will be produced in Germany in the first instance, and chances are the Model 3 will follow suit thanks to the pricing advantage over the electric crossover. The industrial estate in Gruenheide is expected to draw in investments "in the billions" according to state authorities.
The European Gigafactory should start rolling out crossovers and sedans in 2021, creating 3,000 to 3,500 jobs in the first phase of production. Tesla is then expected to ramp up the workforce to 7,000 or 8,000. Brandenburg lobbied Musk with an offer of "at least €100 million in aid" to choose the federal state over other regions in Germany with greater expertise in automotive production.
A factory this close to the Volkswagen Group spells trouble for Wolfsburg, more so if you remember that the ID.3 doesn't hold a candle to the Model 3. The same would apply to the ID.4 and Model Y, but on the other hand, the Volkswagen Group has more ambitious plans than Tesla for the electrified future. To the point, no fewer than 75 EVs have been promised by VW by 2029.
In the meantime, Tesla prepares to roll out the Shanghai-built Model 3 for the Chinese market. The sales performance of the electric sedan in the Middle Kingdom is crucial for the Palo Alto-based automaker, especially in terms of financial results. As far as the competition is concerned, the best-selling Model 3 is pretty much alone in its segment for the time being in this part of the world.