Elon Musk says the UK lost out on Tesla's new Gigafactory because of Brexit

Xinhua via Getty ImagesTesla CEO Elon Musk.
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced Tuesday that the car firm would build its European Gigafactory on the outskirts of Berlin.
  • In an interview with Auto Express, Musk said he didn’t consider the UK as an option for Tesla’s European Gigafactory because of Brexit uncertainty.
  • He said during a speech Tuesday that Germany’s strong track record on engineering was also a factor in his decision to settle there.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Elon Musk said he would have considered the UK as the new European home for a Tesla Gigafactory (the name Tesla calls its factories) if only it weren’t for Brexit.

Speaking to Auto Express, Musk said Brexit uncertainty made it “too risky” to consider constructing a gigafactory in the UK. This came immediately after the Tesla CEO announced he had selected Berlin as the site for the company’s first European factory.

According to the publication, he said: “”Brexit [uncertainty] made it too risky to put a Gigafactory in the UK.”

Musk added that his decision was influenced by Germany’s strong track record on engineering.

“Everyone knows that German engineering is outstanding and that’s part of the reason we are locating our Gigafactory Europe in Germany,” he said, speaking at the Golden Steering Wheel Awards ceremony in Germany on Tuesday.

Thus far Tesla has factories in New York, Nevada, and California, and Shanghai. Its California Gigafactory is three floors high, spans 4.9 million square feet, and holds over 2,500 workers.

Tesla is far from the first automaker to be put off by Brexit.

In April 2019 UK car production plummeted 45%, and traditional automakers including Honda and Ford have announced factory closures – although Ford denied that Brexit was the reason for shutting down its Bridgend factory in Wales.

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