It was easy to provoke Elon Musk. A few weeks ago, Porsche announced that its new Taycan would be the fastest electric four-door in the world. That was proven at the Nürburgring. The Tesla boss could not let that sit on it and immediately sent his fastest car, the Model S, on the same track. The experts argue now, under which conditions which car was really faster.
The anecdote shows: The competition between Tesla and the major German automakers has long been in full swing. Now Musk no longer wants to race alone on the road, but also in Germany as a production location. He wants to build his fourth gigafactory near Berlin. It's good news for German industry that Musk announced on Tuesday night. As early as 2021, batteries and entire Tesla models are to be manufactured in Brandenburg. Up to 10,000 jobs could be created in the region, claims Musk.
But it's about more than just jobs in a structurally weak region. Musk always wants to be the coolest, the fastest, the most innovative with their company. That may sometimes smile, but it is exactly the challenge that Germany's automakers now need on their own doorstep. Finally they are heated. Daimler, BMW, Volkswagen - they were recently symbols of backwardness, Klüngelei and Bräigkeit. They delayed the transition to electromobility because they and the entire car lobby feared the loss of many jobs and prosperity. Instead of understanding structural change for what it is - inescapable - they have been hesitating too long.
Accelerate necessary transformation
Now German companies and above all the major suppliers are lagging behind in technological change and need to reduce jobs because they did not switch to new products soon enough. A new Tesla factory in Brandenburg can accelerate this necessary transformation. After all, even the US company does not produce all the parts for its own cars, but will need German suppliers. This secures jobs and spurs companies on to more innovation.
However, you should be careful not to fall into too much euphoria. Elon Musk is already used to a discrepancy between announcements and what is ultimately implemented. Rarely has Tesla achieved its self-imposed goals, especially in the number of units produced. Nevertheless, the company is number one in the market for fully electric cars. And this rank the German manufacturers have to run the Americans once.
Tesla, on the other hand, should not be subject to the fallacy that American working conditions enter Germany with him. IG Metall is particularly well-organized in the German automotive industry and has established a secure and attractive employment environment there for decades. If Tesla wants to hire qualified skilled workers or industry engineers, it must offer similar or better conditions. Otherwise, the US company has no chance in the sharp German competition for skilled workers.
In the end, it will not be about who will win this race. It is often said that Tesla will eventually depend on German automakers. But that can not be expected. The German auto industry continues to drive billions in profits, unlike Tesla. She also has the innovative ability to withstand this competition. German customers can buy a Tesla already for a long time anyway. Now, however, German manufacturers are forced at all levels to fully enter this competition.