Tesla's winding road to Berlin

Topics Elon Musk | Tesla Elon Musk | Tesla


The visitors from Palo Alto, Calif., were shown how Berlin, a hive of tech start-ups that likens itself to Silicon Valley, is just a short commute away. They were promised building permits in four weeks rather than the customary 11 months.

And they were taken aloft in a 44-year-old Russian biplane for a leisurely tour of the site. And it worked. Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, decided to build the carmaker’s first major European factory in Grünheide, a village just outside Berlin and surrounded by undeveloped.

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