Elon Musk makes first visit to Berlin Tesla construction site

Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk signed autographs and joked around as he visited the Tesla gigafactory in Grünheide, Brandenburg, just outside Berlin.

“We want to make this a real fun place to work,” Musk said, adding that construction at the site close to the A10 was moving very fast. 

“You can see how fast the progress is,” Musk added. The tech expert said he aimed to produce “cool cars” there and said it would become “the most important car factory in the world”.

Musk also joked with journalists, referring to a Twitter post from previously this year where he brought up the idea of constructing a club at the factory.

“When do we get the rave cave here? It’s going to be great,” he said. He also praised the new location, by saying “Germany rocks”.

Musk later tweeted to thank the Tesla Berlin team for their “excellent work”.

In a reply to a question from a reporter, Musk said on his next visit to Germany, he could imagine bringing his son, named “X Æ A-Xii”, with him.

“Maybe I’ll come back in a few months and bring him with me,” he said.  He laughed when the name of his son was discussed in the question. “Oh, you mean my child? That sounds like a password.” Musk and his partner, the musician Grimes, became parents in May.

From summer 2021, about 500,000 electric cars annually are to roll off the assembly line of the factory located in the otherwise sleepy district of Grünheide.

The factory is set to generate about 12,000 jobs. The plans do not yet have full approval as the environmental permit from Brandenburg is still pending, Tesla is constructing at its own risk with provisional permits.

It comes as a new report indicated how the German auto market has been hit hard because of the coronavirus crisis. However, Tesla continued its growth in the Bundesrepublik, with over five times as many cars sold in August as in the same month 2019, and is the only brand to have boosted sales in 2020.

Musk on Tuesday visited the headquarters of the biotech company Curevac located in Tübingen. The company is in the advanced stages of developing a possible Covid-19 vaccine.

And on Wednesday he held talks with federal Economics Minister Peter Altmaier, representatives of Angela Merkel‘s Christian Democrats faction in the Bundestag, and Brandenburg’s state premier Dietmar Woidke.

According to insider information, Musk talked with Altmaier for about an hour. They reportedly discussed investments in the automobile industry.

Other topics included Musk’s plans in the areas of space travel and self-driving vehicles. Curevac was also discussed.

“Musk and Altmaier agreed that Curevac, which is working on new vaccine concepts and is cooperating with Tesla, is one of the most innovative companies in the world,” the insider informed news agency Reuters.

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