Musk visits German Tesla Gigafactory after suspected arson attack

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk carries on his shoulders his son X Æ A-XII as he addresses employess during a visit at the company’s electric car plant in Gruenheide near Berlin.
Odd Andersen | Afp | Getty Images

Elon Musk on Wednesday visited the Tesla Gigafactory near Berlin, which was forced to halt production last week after losing power during a suspected arson attack.

Pictures show Musk waving to workers as he arrived at the factory in German state Brandenburg and addressing them on stage in a tent where employees gathered to meet him.

Local media also reported that Musk told the crowd “I love you” in German, but that his further comments were drowned out by a factory vehicle parking in front of journalists and blasting music.

Tesla workers stand outside they wait for arrival of Tesla head Elon Musk outside the Tesla Gigafactory on March 13, 2024 near Gruenheide, Germany.
Maja Hitij | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla Inc., arrives at the Tesla plant in Gruenheide, Germany, on Wednesday, March 13, 2024.
Krisztian Bocsi | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Tesla CEO Elon Musk (R) holds his son X Æ A-XII during a visit at the company’s electric car plant in Gruenheide near Berlin, eastern Germany, on March 13, 2024.
Odd Andersen | Afp | Getty Images

Musk is expected to meet regional politicians during his visit to Germany, local media said, citing state government sources. CNBC could not independently verify the reports.

Last week, the Gigafactory was left without power and had to temporarily stop production after a suspected arson on an electric substation close by. Tesla said that the incident was aimed at the company, in a statement on social media platform X.

Left-wing extremist group ‘Vulkangruppe’ claimed responsibility for the attack in a letter posted online, criticizing Tesla’s environmental competencies. Regional authorities are still investigating the case.

The Brandenburg factory is slated for expansion, but the project has met significant resistance from locals and environmental groups, as it would mean the destruction of forests in the area. Activists have set up camp near the factory in protest.

A banner with the words “Elon” and “Eloff” hangs in the camp of the “Stop Tesla” initiative in a pine forest near Fangschleuse near the Tesla Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg plant.
Sebastian Gollnow | Picture Alliance | Getty Images

The plant was able to rejoin the power grid earlier this week. Production resumed at the Gigafactory on Wednesday, Michaela Schmitz, chair of the works council at the plant, told local radio channel rbb24, according to a CNBC translation.

Employees received their full salaries during the production outage, she added.

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