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Tesla’s Fast-Track German Plant Charts Path Through Red Tape

  • Tesla wants first European car plant built in just two years
  • Overcoming German red tape poses challenge for mega project
Log piles sit beside a tree line during forest clearing work for Tesla’s factory in Gruenheide.
Log piles sit beside a tree line during forest clearing work for Tesla’s factory in Gruenheide.Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg
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Elon Musk’s plan to turn a remote wooded lot in Germany into the home of a state-of-the-art car factory in less than two years sent an unequivocal message to local authorities: make it happen or lose it.

Eager to host Tesla Inc.’s first European plant near Berlin -- a potential 4 billion-euro ($4.5 billion) development -- German officials assured the electric-car maker’s chief executive officer fast-track navigation through the country’s notorious bureaucracy. In recent years, onerous regulations have held up projects from a large train station in Stuttgart to Berlin’s first new airport since the end of the Cold War.