Tesla Motors Inc. is planning to build sites in Europe and Asia, as it expects higher demand for a new yet smaller electric car that would soon complement its popular Model S, according chief executive Elon Musk. Tesla is planning to build this year at least 21,000 of the Model S at its Fremont site in California, doubling the number in 2014.
Although Tesla’s Fremont site has the capacity to build up to 500,000 vehicles a year, Musk said that production of smaller electric car will require additional plants. He remarked in an interview with Bloomberg Television that the new plants will be located near where the customers are to minimize logistics costs.
He remarked that in the long term, there will be Tesla plants in other parts of the United States, Europe, and Asia. The California-based has opened a small facility in Tilburg, Netherlands, where it is assembling Model S components for vehicles it has commenced selling in Europe.
Tesla has been a wonder in the auto industry this year with its shares soaring more than fourfold and its market value surpassing even other carmakers like Fiat SpA.
Tesla reported profits in the first two quarters of the year, excluding some items, following very strong demand for the Model S, which sales have exceeded the carmaker’s production capability.
The Model S was named 2013 "Car of the Year" by Motor Trend magazine, and was reviewed positively by Consumer Reports. Most lately, Tesla disclosed it received top crash and safety ratings in tests by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.