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BERLIN — German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Monday that he did not expect any major delays to the construction of Tesla’s factory near Berlin due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The U.S. automaker said last November it would build a factory in Gruenheide in the eastern state of Brandenburg, creating up to 12,000 jobs and assembling as many as 500,000 vehicles annually.
The factory, which is due to open in 2021, has faced moves by environmentalists to stop local deforestation in addition to the problems surrounding the pandemic.
Tesla is moving into Germany’s heartland to vie with Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes-Benz as the country targets a massive increase in electric-car sales.
Tesla plans to build several models at the new plant starting with the Model 3 sedan and Model Y crossover, with more cars to follow.