DETROIT, June 12 Tesla Motors Inc will
build an assembly plant in Europe once sales of its electric
cars reach 160,000 vehicles a year in that region according to
Chief Executive Elon Musk, the Automotive News reported on
"My aspirations for Europe are that we sell a comparable
number of cars in Europe as the U.S.," Musk told Automotive News
at an event in London to celebrate the delivery of the first
right-hand-drive Model S sedans in the United Kingdom.
He told the industry publication that once global sales pass
500,000 vehicles, it "would make sense" to have a factory in
Europe and in China.
Tesla officials could not immediately be reached to comment,
but Musk said last month during a conference call that the
company would have to open a plant in China within three to four
years and it would also study opening a plant in Europe.
Musk also told Automotive News that Tesla plans to open a
European research and development center in the United Kingdom
in 2015 or 2016 and will expand its final assembly plant in the
Netherlands where batteries are reinstalled back into Tesla
vehicles imported into Europe from the United States.
(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Sofina