Tesla boss Elon Musk has flown to Germany to present customers with the first Model Y vehicles built at the automaker’s new Giga Berlin plant — its first car factory in Europe.
Musk tweeted that he’ll be handing over the production cars to the new owners at a special event at the site on Tuesday, March 22.
Excited to hand over the first production cars made by Giga Berlin-Brandenburg tomorrow!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 21, 2022
The event comes just a few days after the factory received final approval to begin vehicle production. Despite several halts in construction work while officials conducted environmental reviews at the site, the plant is opening only a few months later than originally hoped.
Tesla’s new factory is located about 20 miles southeast of the German capital and has around 10,000 people working on the production of Tesla’s Model Y crossover for the European market. The plant will also produce batteries, battery packs, and powertrains for Tesla vehicles. If Musk follows through on one of his earlier suggestions, it may also include a “mega rave cave” for special events.
News that Tesla had received final approval was shared with the Giga Berlin workforce on Saturday.
“Yesterday was a huge day for our Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg,” the message said. “We officially received our operating permit. This also enables us to start production and to deliver cars to our customers. What a milestone in our young history. We should be hugely proud.”
The message continued: “Congratulations and thank you to all that helped to get us here. Great team spirit. And of course, we wouldn’t be Tesla if we would not continue working at full speed and already start delivering the first cars to our customers next Tuesday.”
Giga Berlin sets to work two months after Tesla posted record full-year earnings — $5.5 billion for 2021 compared with the previous annual record of $3.47 billion for 2020 — despite the ongoing pressures of a global chip shortage. However, Musk confirmed that the chip shortage meant a further delay for its futuristic Cybertruck pickup, which won’t appear until 2023 at the earliest.
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