Tesla starts new factory operations for European markets in Tilburg, Netherlands
American electric automotive company Tesla Motors has inaugurated its first European factory in Tilburg, Netherlands to allow its customers in the continent faster access to its cars.
The new factory will initially be used to assemble Tesla's Model S sedan and is the first fully-fledged factory for the company outside its home market.
It has a weekly production capacity for 1,000 cars, but will initially produce around 450 cars a week.
The factory has been developed with old parts from Tesla's main factory in Fremont, California, and is expected to help the company in driving its sales in the UK and across Europe, reports Financial Times.
Tesla, which had been facing supply deficits, had delivered 35,000 cars last year. It has set a target to sell 500,000 cars a year globally by 2020.
The new facility has a floor area of 77,648m2 and features a 750m indoor test track to be used for quality control process.
The track will be used for simulating multiple road surfaces checking noise, vibration and harshness levels of the vehicles. It will also facilitate indoor testing for Tesla's autonomous driving Autopilot systems before the vehicles are dispatched to their new owners.
The Model S sedan vehicles for the European customers will however not be manufactured in the facility. Assembly of the battery pack, power train and rear axle, all of which will be imported from the Fremont facility, will be done there.
Prior to a thorough quality control assessment, Tesla will also carry out the firmware upload for the cars at the Tilburg facility, reports Auto Express.
Tesla also intends to produce its upcoming Model X SUV at the new facility. Though first deliveries for this model are expected to be done in the US this month, UK customers will have to wait for one more year for their deliveries.
Image: Tesla Model S sedan production was started in 2012, and its deliveries to retail customers began in June 2012. Photo: courtesy of Niels de Wit / Wikipedia.