Tesla chief executive officer Elon Musk recently said that he is hopeful that Gigafactory in Germany’s Berlin would start production of cars as soon as in October. Musk said this after visiting the plant in Grünheide, near Berlin. The expected starting date of the production at Tesla’s first European plant has been pushed back and the company has blamed bureaucratic hurdles of the country for it. There are some environmental concerns too. The factory is facing resistance from the local public. All these have resulted in the delay. This is the reason why the Tesla CEO met the leaders of the German state Brandenburg. Dietmar Woidke, state premier of Brandenburg, too attended the meeting. The information was shared by Economy Minister Joerg Steinbach on Twitter. Steinbach also posted a picture of Musk while sharing the information.”It was a very relaxed evening meeting with Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The meeting was held in an atmosphere of mutual trust during which we discussed the remaining tasks. Thank you Elon Musk and your family for the visit,” Steinbach wrote on the microblogging site. Steinbach tweeted this soon after public flight data showed that the electric-vehicle entrepreneur’s jet landed in Germany where Musk is facing delay in trying to begin the production at the new manufacturing site.
The meeting comes as Armin Laschet is visited Tesla’s site. Laschet is the conservative candidate and he met local staff as part of his election campaign. The progress at the plant has been slow because of several issues. Musk, who has blamed German red tape for the delays, had visited the factory in May as well. The expected date for starting production has already been pushed back by Tesla. The factory is now expected to start production in late 2021. But the factory is yet to give final approval from the environmental agency in Brandenburg. Any further delay in granting approval means that starting of production would be possible in 2022. This is the reason Musk has been regularly visiting Germany. Speaking about a recent visit to the plant, Musk said – “We are looking forward to getting the approval at the earliest. If everything goes in a planned manner and we are fortunate enough, the production is likely to begin in October.” But getting required approvals is not the only challenge faced by Musk at the moment. Lately, he called two semiconductor manufacturers ‘problematic.’ Musk said that because of the supply shortage of key components that are used in electric vehicles produced by Tesla. The two of the world’s largest chipmakers who were pointed out by Musk are – Japan’s Renesas and Germany’s Bosch.
The auto industry is facing a shortage of chips, which are used in most electronic devices. The shortage continues to hurt the production of vehicles. Several manufacturing sites have to slow down the production as demand outstrips supply. The main reason behind the shortage of chips is the coronavirus pandemic. When the coronavirus pandemic struck, almost all factories and manufacturing were forced to close operations. But the demand for vehicles picked up much faster than expected, resulting in a shortage of chips. Also, technologies like 5G which require heavy chips are also the cause. “It is well known that cars manufactured by Tesla in the first quarter are for export and that in the second quarter is for the local market. It is public that we are operating under extreme supply-chain limitations. By far, most problematic are Renesas and Bosch,” Musk had said while replying to Ark Investment Management Chief Executive Cathie Wood. But there is some good news for Tesla investors as well as semiconductor manufacturer Bosch has is expected to start production of automotive chips in its new factory in Germany. The production is likely to begin by next month.