Tesla has begun hiring staff for battery cell production at Giga Berlin in Grünheide. Reports say the company would also look to finding personnel in vehicle assembly starting in January. Up to 7,000 employees would then help build a slightly modified Model Y for the markets in Europe.
The job ads were posted on the Tesla website and Drew Baglino, Senior Vice President of Power Train and Energy Engineering, posted on LinkedIn as well. “Accelerate the transition to sustainable energy by joining Tesla’s cell manufacturing effort in Berlin, recruiting for leadership positions now,” the executive wrote. The post shows vacancies for Cell Manufacturing Operational Leader, Cell Shop Senior Leader, and a Manufacturing Engineering Manager, Cells.
Giga Berlin, also known as Gigafactory 4 in the state of Brandenburg, will produce the new 4680 cells Tesla introduced at Battery Day in September. The significantly larger cells will form an integral part of a novel structural battery pack.
When cell production for the European Tesla cars will start remains unclear. Electrek suggests battery production begin analogous to vehicles production, currently set for summer 2021. That is when Tesla wants to make the Model Y, and if the schedule is correct, the car could utilise the new cells from the start. At the same time, Tesla in our earlier reports mentioned Grünheide as a “testbed” for the new battery type and production methods, that they would then eventually roll-out to production in the US and China.
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In any case, manufacturing will become concrete near Berlin, and a German recruitment agency has announced they would hold applicant days in December. They said Tesla would seek to fill 7,000 positions. Two hundred employees for the warehouse have been placed already, according to the Frankfurt Employment Agency.
The Model Y, which the employees in Grünheide will then assemble, may differ slightly from the version that went on sale in the US at the beginning of the year. According to the latest reports, both the Model 3 and Model Y are catching up to each other in the latest upgrades, gradually.
Changes include auto-dimming exterior mirrors, silver scrolls on the steering wheel, and laminated window glass introduced in Model 3. The centre console remains unchanged, for now.
Since it was announced this week that Tesla would be included in the S&P 500 stock market index in December, the share price has continued to develop positively. At the close of trading on Thursday, Tesla had a market capitalisation of 475 billion dollars. It remains to be seen how exactly Tesla’s inclusion in the index will take place. Since many funds and ETFs are tied to the performance of the S&P 500, these funds must replicate the shares of the companies listed in their portfolios. If Tesla is included, 500 investment funds indexed to the S&P 500 would have to sell $51 billion worth of shares of current S&P 500 members and in return purchase Tesla shares. Only then would their portfolios correctly reflect the composition of the S&P 500.
In other words: Tesla could be about to be acquired by a few large investors. Rumour has it that Berkshire Hathaway, the investment firm of Warren Buffett, has shown interest. According to a US report, around 50 million shares of Tesla have disappeared from the so-called 13F document, which lists large shareholders. At the same time, Berkshire Hathaway had applied for an investment in a new company, but did not want to disclose the name of the company “not overly to affect the market”. If the company is Tesla, as US media suspects, the investment could have a value of eleven billion dollars and remain below the 5% threshold.
Buffett and Musk did not exactly see eye to eye in the past – Buffett invested in BYD, for example, while Musk was laughing about the cars. Buffett’s investment companies also include numerous car dealerships in the US that have opposed Tesla’s direct sales.
Additional reporting from Germany, Sebastian Schaal.
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