FRANKFURT -- Elon Musk picked a glitzy event in Germany, a few hours' drive from the birthplace of the internal combustion engine, to drop the news that Tesla plans to open a factory in the country.
Tesla will round out its global manufacturing network with a factory near Berlin, along with an engineering and design center, Musk said at the Golden Steering Wheel awards ceremony in the German capital on Tuesday attended by the CEOs of Volkswagen, Audi and BMW.
"Everyone knows German engineering is outstanding for sure. You know that is part of the reason why we are locating Gigafactory Europe in Germany," Musk said at the event.
The news wasn't completely unexpected. Musk had said that Tesla would announce the location of its European factory before the end of the year and that Germany was a front-runner. Nonetheless, Tuesday's announcement bolstered the CEO's flair-for-the-dramatic reputation.
Fresh off a surprise profit report that sent the company's shares soaring, Musk threw down the gauntlet in front of rival executives that Tesla can no longer be dismissed as a niche automaker.
"Elon Musk has an ability to make a splash," said John Boyd, principal of a manufacturing site-selection firm based in Princeton, New Jersey. "Not only does Germany bring top-level manufacturing skill sets and positive supply chain dynamics to the table, but there is a cachet value to Tesla establishing a bricks-and-mortar presence in Germany, a nation synonymous with precision car manufacturing."