Tesla Motors has opened its first plant in Europe in the Dutch city of Tilburg.
The facility is part of the electric car manufacturer’s plans to boost sales in Europe and achieve its goal of producing half a million cars a year worldwide by 2020.
The Dutch plant is the first Tesla facility outside its home market and will help shorten delivery times to European customers.
The automaker will assemble Model S sedans and Model X crossovers in Tilburg using shipped parts from the company’s main factory in Fremont, California.
According to the company, the plant will build about 450 cars a week, but will have a total capacity for about 1,000 a week. The Tilburg factory features a 750-meter (2,460-foot) indoor test track.
Tesla Motors previously used the Tilburg site to reassemble cars made in California. The company’s CEO Elon Musk said that the plant offers “a lot of room for growth and expansion”. In addition, the executive said that the company may look for new sites in Europe at the beginning of next year.
More than half of Tesla’s sales come from the United States, with Europe making up about 30 percent and China just above 10 percent. Tesla has had limited success in big markets like Germany, France and Spain, but has been very successful in Scandinavia. Norway accounts for 13 percent of the automaker’s overall sales.
Later this year, Tesla will release its Model X crossover, while the Model 3 is expected to arrive in the US and Europe three years from now. By Carscoops