Tesla aims to build 500,000 vehicles per year near Berlin

A China-made Tesla Model 3 vehicle at the Shanghai Gigafactory of the US electric car maker in Shanghai. (Reuters)
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Updated 05 January 2020

Tesla aims to build 500,000 vehicles per year near Berlin

  • US automaker wants to construct Model 3 and Model Y vehicles

BERLIN: Tesla plans to build half a million electric vehicles a year at its future factory outside Berlin. Planning documents posted online reveal that the US automaker wants to construct Model 3 and Model Y vehicles at the site in Gruenheide, as well as “future models.”
The so-called Gigafactory — Tesla’s fourth — will include facilities to assemble entire electric vehicles, including the production of batteries.
The plans will have to undergo an environmental impact review and public consultation.
Tesla aims to start operating the plant in July 2021, an optimistic time frame by German standards. Construction of a nearby airport for Berlin began in 2006 and the opening has been delayed for eight years.
On Friday Tesla posted a jump in car deliveries in the final three months of 2019.
The firm founded by controversial entrepreneur Elon Musk delivered 112,000 vehicles in the quarter ending Dec. 31, a nearly 23 percent from the same three-month period of 2018.
The positive results contrasted with those of conventional auto giants like General Motors and Fiat Chrysler that reported middling sales which pressured their share prices.

FASTFACT

Tesla delivered 112,000 vehicles in the quarter ending Dec. 31.

But Tesla shares rallied further on the news, the latest in a run of better performance reflected in strong third-quarter earnings in October, a splashy launch of a new SUV design in November and the successful ramp-up of a Chinese car factory earlier this week.
Things have improved considerably from the early part of 2019 when US securities regulators sought to sanction Musk for violating a settlement over his August 2018 statements on Twitter tied to a quickly-aborted effort to take the company private.
In April, Musk and the Securities Exchange Commission settled the matter, imposing clearer guidelines on topics Musk should avoid on social media, including statements about acquisitions, mergers, new products and production numbers.


Greece readies revival of coronavirus-hit economy

Updated 04 June 2020

Greece readies revival of coronavirus-hit economy

  • Tourism accounts for around 20 percent of Greek gross domestic product
  • Greece desperately needs to attract visitors this year

ATHENS: Greece geared up Thursday to revive its tourism-dependent economy, which shrank in the first quarter owing to measures against the coronavirus, the Elstat data agency said.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is to headline an event later in the day to unveil a national tourism campaign for the virus-shortened season.
He has already warned the country that the economy would fall into a “deep recession” this year before rebounding in 2021.
Tourism accounts for around 20 percent of Greek gross domestic product (GDP), so it is crucial that visitors be attracted back to the nation’s beaches and iconic island villages.
Toward that end, Greece has announced a ‘bridge phase’ between June 15 and 30, during which airports in Athens and Thessaloniki will receive regular passenger flights.
Other regional and island airports are to open on July 1.
Greece plans to impose a seven- to 14-day quarantine only on travelers from only the hardest-hit areas as identified by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Sample tests will also be carried out at entry points for epidemiological purposes however.
Provisional data released by Elstat showed how important it is to get the tourism sector back on its feet.
GDP fell by 1.6 percent in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the previous three months, and by 0.9 percent year-on-year, the data showed.
But data for March alone showed that month was not as bad as expected, government spokesman Stelios Petsas told a press conference.
Now, “Greece is opening its gates to the world under safe conditions for tourism workers, for residents of tourism destinations and of course, for our visitors,” he said.
With fewer than 180 coronavirus deaths among 11 million residents, Greece seeks to market itself as a healthy holiday destination.
On Tuesday, Athens said it was suspending flights to and from Qatar until June 15 after 12 people on a flight from Doha tested positive for COVID-19.
Earlier Thursday, Greek media reported that a first batch of nearly 190 tests among residents of the Cycladic islands, one of Greece’s most popular destinations, had turned up negative.
The country desperately needs to attract visitors this year.
The latest finance ministry estimate suggests that for 2020 as a whole, business activity could drop by up to 13 percent from the level in 2019.
Between 2009 and 2018, Greece suffered its worst economic crisis in modern times, and had begun to slowly regain some of the lost ground before it was hit by the impact of coronavirus restrictions.
The country was shut down for six weeks, and the International Monetary Fund forecast in May that GDP would decline by 10 percent this year before growing by 5.5 percent in 2021.