Tesla CEO Elon Musk hands over first batch of Germany-made Model Ys to customers
Tesla CEO Elon Musk personally oversaw the handing over of Made-in-Germany Model Ys to customers as the company officially started deliveries at its Gruenheide plant. This marks the start of the automaker's inaugural European hub just two years after it was first announced.
The handing over ceremony took placed amid loud music while 30 clients and their families got a first glimpse of their shining new vehicles through a neon-lit Tesla branded tunnel. Musk addressed the fans, danced and joked with them too. "This is a great day for the factory," Musk said, describing it as "another step in the direction of a sustainable future".
These customers will receive the Model Y Performance trim priced at 63,990 euros. The EV offers a range of 514 kilometres. Tesla added that new orders from the factory will be delivered from April.
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Though Musk had hoped to begin output from the factory eight months ago, licensing delays and local concerns around the plant's environmental impact delayed the whole process. The factory got the final go-ahead from local authorities on March 4 to begin production in Germany, provided it met conditions ranging from its water use to air pollution controls.
The plant opening happened on the same day as the top U. securities regulator urged a federal judge not to let Musk back out of an agreement requiring that his Twitter use be monitored. At full capacity, the factory will produce five lakkh electric vehicles annually.
All this while, Tesla was forced to service European orders from Shanghai while it awaited its German licence. This added to rising logistics costs at a time when it was struggling with industry-wide chip shortages and other supply chain disruptions.
(with inputs from Reuters)