FDI Perspective: A New Giant in the East

The construction of Tesla’s Gigafactory just outside of Berlin has prompted a flood of inquiries for e-mobility-related investments in the eastern German state of Brandenburg.

June, 2021

Just outside of Berlin, a giant is rapidly taking shape: A massive, low-slung factory stretches as far as the eye can see. Built from the ground up by US electric carmaker Tesla, it represents a EUR 1.1 billion investment in the European EV market. Tesla spokesperson Kathrin Schira says the 492,000-square-meter Gigafactory will be the “most advanced mass production facility for electric cars in the world,” capable of turning out 500,000 cars per year – mostly Tesla’s Model Y SUV to start with. As the facility nears completion, local officials hope it will create the foundation for a larger boom.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk at the vast construction site of the Tesla Gigafactory in Grünheide near Berlin

© picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild, Patrick Pleul

“We have had more inquiries for possible investments in Brandenburg than ever before – and all that in the middle of a pandemic,” Brandenburg State Minister for Economic Affairs Jörg Steinbach told Bloomberg News. French gas manufacturer Air Liquide is already investing EUR 40 million to supply the factory with oxygen and nitrogen, and Microvast from the US is opening a factory for fast-charging modules in the area.

500,000

Tesla car sales in 2020

50,000

Price of Model Y

12,000

Projected number of people the new European Tesla Gigafactory will employ

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