Tesla’s Gigafactory in Berlin Will Increase Competition in Germany, Says VW CEO

On Friday, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said that Tesla’s arrival in Europe with the planned opening of its Berlin Gigafactory by the end of this year will serve as a challenge to the local automotive industry, forcing them to up their game — reports Yahoo Finance.

The Gigafactory, located in Grünheide, near Berlin, is set to be Tesla’s first electric vehicle (EV) production facility in Europe. The factory cost around €5.8 billion ($6.8 billion USD) to build, and received approximately €1.14 billion in government subsidies throughout construction.

Giga Berlin received yet another round of government approvals earlier this month, after which Tesla announced a county fair event and public tour of the facility for locals on October 9. Registrations for the event, dubbed “Giga-fest”, are currently open, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk is confirmed to attend.

Final consultation for objections to the factory’s construction closes in October, and final permit approvals are expected in Q4. Musk hopes that the Gigafactory will start piping out delivery-ready cars sometime next month.

“Efficiency is key for the transformation of our industry/Germany. Tesla develops in shorter processes, works closer with the best in the industry and takes more risk,” said Diess, a longstanding admirer of what Musk and his company have achieved in the realm of EVs, in a tweet.

“Gruenheide will increase competition in Germany – also with Wolfsburg,” added the CEO of Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen, which is Europe’s largest carmaker but sees Tesla as ‘the one to beat’ in the EV space. Wanting to overtake Tesla, Volkswagen plans on establishing six battery cell factories across Europe by 2030.