Brexit has cost Britain a Tesla gigafactory, according to Elon Musk
Britain missed the opportunity to have Tesla’s first European factory because of Brexit, according to chief executive Elon Musk.
Instead, the electric car maker plumped for a site near Berlin for the so called gigafactory, where it will make batteries, powertrains and vehicles.
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The move promises to provide a major boost for the German capital, with Berlin’s economic affairs minister Ramona Pop saying it could create up to 7,000 jobs in production alone.
“Brexit made it too risky to put a gigafactory in the UK,” Musk told industry website Auto Express.
No one from Tesla was immediately available to comment.
Brexit has hit the automotive industry particularly hard. Manufacturers have held off on making investment decisions in the UK for more than three years, because the future relationship with the bloc is unclear.
Car makers such as Nissan and Vauxhall have warned a no-deal Brexit, where companies face costly trade tariffs, would jeopardise their UK operations and put thousands of people’s jobs in danger.
Business secretary Andrea Leadsom has said the government is aware that the uncertainty over Brexit is causing investment to be put on hold.That is why the upcoming election is needed, she said.
“We need a Conservative government to get Brexit done with a deal and end the uncertainty,” she said.
But the Lib Dems said the decision shows Johnson’s “deluded plans are already costing the country vital investment and making us all poorer”.
Separately, German economy minister Peter Altmaier said today that there had been no discussion yet of subsidies for Tesla.
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“Subsidies have not yet been discussed. It’s clear that Tesla – if it invests in Germany and creates jobs here, will be treated like all other companies in the automobile and automotive industry,” Altmaier told reporters.
“That means we will treat all players who invest in Germany equally and without discrimination,” he said.