Elon Musk, apparently undeterred by President Donald Trump’s warnings of rising crime, said Tuesday he is eyeing Germany as a potential site for Tesla Inc.’s planned European Gigafactory.
In a Tweet response to a question from a follower, the Tesla
chief said Germany is a leading choice for the factory, which is expected to produce lithium-ion batteries that can be used in electric cars.
Germany is a leading choice for Europe. Perhaps on the German-French border makes sense, near the Benelux countries
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 19, 2018
Other countries that had been mooted as possible locations include Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Portugal.
President Trump tweeted Tuesday that crime in Germany is up more than 10% “since migrants were accepted,” doubling down on a claim Monday that crime in Germany was “way up.”
Crime in Germany is up 10% plus (officials do not want to report these crimes) since migrants were accepted. Others countries are even worse. Be smart America!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2018
Statistics released in May by the German Interior Ministry showed that crime is actually at its lowest rate in 26 years.
Tesla is still building its U.S. Gigafactory in Sparks, Nev., which is expected to produce 35 GWh/year of battery cells once it is complete. The company is under pressure to meet its production target of 5,000 Model 3 cars a week by the end of June.
Musk showed off the company’s newest production line in a weekend tweet. The new line is he third at Tesla’s Fremont, Calif., facility, and apparently was built in just three weeks in a tent-like structure next to the factory. The new line is apparently rolling out dual-motor, high-performance Model 3s, a new version for $78,000 that the Tesla chief executive announced less than a month ago.
On Sunday night, Musk sent an email to employees in which he claimed that one worker had attempted to sabotage the car maker with a factory fire, as CNBC reported. The email described “a Tesla employee who had conducted quite extensive and damaging sabotage to our operations.” Musk said the employee changed code for Tesla’s manufacturing operating system and sent internal information to third parties. Musk said the investigation would continue.
Tesla shares were down 5.5% Tuesday, but have gained 13.5% in 2018, while the S&P 500
has gained 3% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average
is down 0.1%.