The Model Y will be made at the Berlin Plant

The Model Y will be made at the Berlin Plant

There has been a suggestion that Brexit uncertainty may have been a significant factor in Tesla opting to put its first European manufacturing in Germany rather than the UK. I'm not sure I quite buy into that, given the strong advantages presented by Germany as a location for the premium electric brand.

A production hub situated at the heart of Germany, and close to its customer base, will help Tesla to build manufacturing and cost efficiencies. Ultimately, a car company with global market ambitions has to have its manufacturing footprint spread around the world. With manufacturing facilities in North America, China and Europe to serve those major regional markets, Tesla can build a more balanced manufacturing network and improve its logistics and distribution processes – something that has not always been smooth due to over-reliance on its Fremont, California, production base.

Tesla is also establishing an engineering and design centre in Berlin to tap Germany's rich engineering resources and talent pool, a move which makes good sense. Tesla has, as a colleague of mine remarked, made quite a statement of intent. Indeed, he added, Elon Musk has effectively parked his tanks on the lawn of the German premium car manufacturers.  

Tesla to build European plant in Berlin

It will be interesting to learn more next week about Ford's all-electric Mustang Mach-E - a Tesla Model Y fighter. It will be a much quieter 'Stang than many of its ancestors, that's for sure.

LA auto show - Ford announces Mustang Mach-E name 

In London for an event aimed at the investor community this week, Daimler chairman Ola Källenius made it clear that the costs of investment and R&D are weighing heavily on the company's bottom line, necessitating substantial cuts to cost. Daimler is certainly not the only OEM subject to these pressures, particularly as they contemplate tighter CO2 emission rules and the breakdown of their sales by powertrain type.

Mercedes-Benz plans EUR1bn jobs axe

There were some interesting insights to Toyota's sports car strategy and Gazoo Racing (GR) branding in this piece: Toyota cracks sports car profits code with Supra.

Alas, the GR Yaris debut was cancelled in Australia due to the severe bushfires down there, but there are some good fundraising efforts from the Toyota importer, staff and dealers to support the communities affected.

Toyota GR Yaris world debut cancelled

The world's biggest car market continues to stall, with new vehicle sales down 4% in October.  Particularly striking is the recent reversal of fortunes for electrified vehicles due to the removal of subsidies.

China vehicle sales fall 4% in October

One thing a number of Chinese OEMs have always focused on is adding incremental sales in the smaller markets across the world - in Africa, central Asia and South America. The numbers in any one place are not huge, but they add up. 

Brilliance cooperates with Lifan for Uruguay plant

In Prague, there was a big fanfare this week for the new Skoda Octavia. You do see a lot of estates around (they have always struck me as a little bit Mercedes inspired), but I didn't realise they accounted for nearly two-thirds of the current range's sales.

It is rather a Big Deal - Skoda's new Octavia

We also had news this week that ZF is to participate in Europe's Mobility as a Service (MaaS) Alliance.

Hyundai said it will put the Santa Cruz model into its Alabama plant. If it stays true to the concept, I reckon it will be a surefire hit.

Hyundai Santa Cruz to be built at US plant

And finally, McLaren is looking for appropriately skilled recruits from non-automotive sectors for its new facility near Sheffield, in northern England. Just a tad ironic that boat builders are mentioned given that the area has been suffering severe flooding lately.

McLaren wants tailors, dressmakers and boat builders

Have a nice weekend.

Dave Leggett

Editor, just-auto

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