The uncertainty over Brexit has affected economic growth in the United Kingdom and has slowed down investment from businesses. Now the UK was recently dealt another blow because of the Brexit uncertainty, even as the country prepares for the third general elections in four years, with the United States based electric car maker Tesla choosing to build its first European factory in Germany instead of the UK.
The founder and CEO of Tesla said that a role in the company’s decision for the choice of place for the factory was played by Brexit uncertainty in the UK.
This was said by him while the billionaire entrepreneur announced that the company has chosen a site on the outskirts of Berlin for setting up a battery factory for its cars in its Europe business.
“Brexit [uncertainty] made it too risky to put a gigafactory in the UK,” Musk said while speaking to Auto Express after making the announcement.
The company also has plans to construct a research and development base also in the German capital Berlin. The announcement for the choice of Berlin for Tesla’s factory was made by Musk at a car industry awards ceremony on Wednesday night that was hosted by the German tabloid Bild.
“Some of the best cars in the world are made in Germany. Everyone knows that German engineering is outstanding, for sure, and that’s part of the reason why we are locating our gigafactory Europe in Germany. We are also going to create an engineering and design centre in Berlin,” Musk said.
This attitude of Musk towards Brexit and the uncertainties surrounding it are in stark contrast to his opinion on the issue a few years ago because in November 2016, the Tesla chief had sought to downplay the impact of Brexit. Back then he had said that his company had plans to construct a Research and Development unit in the UK. Earlier Musk had also said that Tesla could also build a factory for making electric cars in the UK in the future is there was sufficient demand in the market. However, Tesla had planned to construct its first European factory on the mainland of the continent.
The new factory in Berlin will manufacture its Model 3 and Model Y vehicles in addition to making batteries for its cars, Musk said. The company expects to begin production in 2021. Musk told the awards audience: “I come to Berlin a lot – Berlin rocks!”
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)