As the best electric car on the market, the Tesla Model S has a global appeal that many of its competitors envy. With production of U.S. bound Tesla sedans already underway, the EV automakers is preparing to open a European production and distribution center. When it opens, the facility will build left-hand drive versions of the Model S for the European market starting next year.
The 200,0000 square-foot facility is a natural expansion for Tesla, despite European economic woes that have devastated sales of conventional cars. The Tesla Model S has a more exclusive clientele who are less-affected by fluctuations in the economy. With demand for the Model S reportedly hitting a peak of 13,000 vehicles, there are a lot of well-heeled folks waiting for a Model S in their driveway.
It should be noted that this is an assembly facility, not a production facility, meaning Tesla will be shipping parts to the new facility for final assembly. This may help Tesla avoid hefty tariffs on completed cars (Japanese automakers used this tactic to avoid tariffs on trucks for years), though it might make them applicable to Europe’s brutal VAT tax.
That just means the Tesla Model S will cost that much more, but I doubt that many people will mind. The new facility was the result of two years of negotiating, so I imagine this was the best solution Tesla could come up with.