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VW’s CEO says Germany would be better home for Tesla car-making than California

Craig Trudell
Bloomberg

Volkswagen AG’s chief executive officer, who’s grown increasingly chummy with Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk, said the electric-vehicle maker may find Germany a more accommodating place for manufacturing than its home state of California.

“What Tesla probably is looking for is the environment, the infrastructure, to build high-quality cars, which is probably much more the case here in Germany than on the West Coast of the United States,” VW CEO Herbert Diess told analysts and investors on a call Monday.

VW CEO Herbert Diess presents new I.D. Vizzion at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in this March 6, 2018 file photo. Diess said Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, that Tesla may find Germany a more accommodating place for manufacturing than its home state of California.

Musk announced last week that Tesla will build a vehicle and battery factory on the outskirts of Berlin, plus an engineering and design center within the city limits. While the plant will be the second to assemble Teslas outside the U.S. – one near Shanghai is on the verge of making cars for sale – the company’s massive facility in Fremont, California, isn’t going anywhere. Preparations are underway for Model Y crossover production to start next summer.

Tesla hasn’t yet said where it will build a new electric pickup that Musk, 48, plans to unveil in Los Angeles later this week.

With assistance from Christoph Rauwald.