Something is happening.
Germany's main automakers marked Tesla as a force to be reckoned with many years ago. The soon to be revealed Porsche Taycan, Audi e-tron, and Mercedes EQ lineup are proof. Tesla's tenure of having the luxury EV segment all to itself is about to end, so these German brands ought to be excited, right? Yes, but Tesla is by no means prepared to surrender. Quite the opposite, in fact. According to Automotive News Europe via Germany's Rheinische Post, the California-based EV automaker is currently scouting locations for a new factory in Europe, specifically in Germany.
At the moment, this search is focused on areas in Germany's state of North-Rhine-Westphalia and the first set of site inspections have already taken place. Alternative locations still up for consideration include the state of Lower Saxony.
This news does not come as much of a surprise given Musk's previously stated enthusiasm for a German factory. "Perhaps on the German-French border makes sense, near the Benelux countries," Musk wrote on Twitter in June. Question is whether this factory will be a Gigafactory or vehicle production facility.
Reports, at least at the moment, indicate it'll be the former, but this could change given that all of Europe's major luxury brands, including Jaguar Land Rover, are all gearing up for an EV assault. The Jaguar I-Pace is only the beginning as all signs indicate the next XJ flagship sedan will have an all-electric variant. Whatever decision is ultimately made, Tesla will need to act relatively fast because market projections indicate Europe is slated to be the world's second-largest consumer of electric cars in the next decade. China is predicted to be number one.
Meanwhile, the Volkswagen Group has already announced plans to rebrand itself at next month's Frankfurt Motor Show by showing off a new slogan, emblem, and its first (of many) mainstream EVs, the Golf-sized ID.3 hatchback. Unfortunately – and not so surprisingly – Tesla refused to comment on this report when ANE reached out. But whatever the case, Tesla is laying the groundwork to open shop in the heartland of Europe's biggest automotive players.