Elon Musk wants to build 600,000 cars annually once Model 3 production is up and running, which is roughly six times more than Tesla’s current output. To get there and be able to deliver those promised Model 3s next year, the company bought the German Grohmann Engineering group, an expert in automated manufacturing technologies.
Tesla will expand that division by hiring about 1000 people to work towards the moment when “the factory becomes more of a product than the product itself”.
Regarding their European Gigafactory, Tesla says they’ll decide where to build it next year. All they need is about 1000 acres of land and enough sunshine and wind to power their completely panel-covered roof and the massive turbine farm next door.
The factory will be responsible for both battery- and vehicle construction, and Musk says the long term plan is to have two, or even three Tesla plants in Europe alone.
Since this comes from a guy who might just end up building his Hyperloop train for Dubai while pushing towards sending people to Mars with SpaceX as well, I’m not going to call any of Tesla’s plans too ambitious. In terms of logistics, having European factories capable of building the whole package would certainly give Tesla a huge advantage over its emerging competition. And if the Model 3 works, they’ll need the additional capacity.