Tesla opens the gates to the new Giga Factory in Grünheide for the first time.

The new Tesla factory near Berlin, which Elon Musk announced at the award ceremony for the Golden Steering Wheel from AUTO BILD and BILD on Sunday in November 2019 and set up in no time at all, was originally supposed to bring 40,000 jobs. It will probably be “only” 12,000 at first, but Tesla is still one of the largest employers in Brandenburg.

Nevertheless, there has been a lot of criticism: residents and environmentalists alike are protesting against the construction, which cost well over a billion euros and has not yet been finally approved!

So that the Grünheider family can get to know their new neighbors better, Tesla has now opened the factory gates to the public for the first time and invited them to the family day in the Gigafactory. 9,000 tickets were issued to visitors from Berlin and Brandenburg, and they were sold out in no time at all.

BILD visits the Tesla factory

The press has only rarely come in here, and Tesla only invites a handpicked selection of media representatives to its open day. BILD was there, many others had to stay outside!

The official start on Saturday was at 10 a.m. – and long queues formed in front of the gates.

As it should be on a typical American family day, Tesla has put on a colorful supporting program: bumper cars (after all, they are also electric), a Ferris wheel and a lush food mile with numerous food trucks are supposed to create a good atmosphere.

Rides in the Model Y should whet the appetite for Tesla

Photo: Patrick Pleul / dpa

But of course it’s also about the cars: There were rides in the Model Y on the factory premises, which will soon be produced in Grünheide. In the passenger seat, visitors experienced what it feels like when the Stromer accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 4.4 seconds. And for the little ones there were mini Teslas with which they could complete their first attempts at driving on a course,

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Electric mobility for the little ones with mini Teslas

Photo: Jan Menno Gebhart

What is hidden behind the facade

The most exciting question, which interested all visitors, was: What’s in the big halls? During the whole day, you could see for yourself how Tesla intends to build cars here on factory tours.

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For the first time, visitors were allowed to visit the Tesla factory

Photo: Patrick Pleul / dpa

Body press shell construction, painting and final assembly were on the program. Particularly impressive: “Godzilla” one of the two most powerful robots in the factory, which lifts the body (called “Body in White”) to the next level. By the way, the other Giga robot is called “King Kong”!

Up to 500,000 models are planned annually. Tesla would prefer to start immediately, but some approvals are still missing.

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“Godzilla” is one of the most powerful robots in the factory

Photo: Jan Menno Gebhart

Elon Musk welcomes visitors in German

Highlight of the family day: Tesla boss Elon Musk personally came to Grünheide and initially has problems with the sound technology on stage! Only when you bring him a new microphone can Musk get started – in German!

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Musk greeted the guests in German

Photo: Patrick Pleul / dpa

“We are happy to open the doors and show you what we have been working on over the past few months. The support we have received from the people here in Grünheide and all of Germany is super impressive!”

Sentences that are well received by the audience, thousands of Elon fans cheer and hoot in front of the stage.

Musk wants to have fun – and build cars this year

Musk emphasizes: “We want to inspire you with what we are doing here. Therefore, many thanks to all supporters of the Giga-Fabrik Berlin-Brandenburg. This party is for you!” and asks the guests to celebrate: “For us, having fun comes first, and Rambazamba for the rest of the evening.”

Then Musk continues in English, emphasizing how proud he is of the factory and that production should definitely start this year. The first cars are to be delivered in December. Initially, they will build 5,000 cars a week, later double that. The previously announced battery cell production could start at the end of 2022, according to Musk.

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Visitors were able to ask Musk questions via Twitter

Photo: Patrick Pleul / dpa

Musk also answers questions from the audience that the guests were able to ask via Twitter beforehand. On the subject of environmental protection, for example, he explains that several projects will be started in Brandenburg, including Tesla’s plan to plant 300 hectares of new forest and turn the monoculture around the plant into a mixed forest.

Kindergarten and own beer

It is well known that Musk is always good for a surprise. He also has a few announcements ready in Grünheide – but it’s not about new models: It was to be expected that Grünheide would have a kindergarten for the next generation of employees.

On the other hand, the fact that he will not only build cars in the Tesla factory in future, but also brew his own giga-beer, is a typical Musk surprise!

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