Musk says ‘Deutschland rocks!’ after visit to arson-hit Tesla plant

BERLIN, (Reuters) – Elon Musk on Wednesday visited Tesla’s European gigafactory in Gruenheide, Germany, where operations had resumed after an arson attack on a nearby electricity pylon last week led to a costly power outage that halted production.

The Tesla chief executive, who was pictured at the German factory wearing a black T-shirt that read “We are (Giga) the future,” shouted “Hey, Deutschland rocks! Dig in Berlin for the win!” as he walked out of the factory and got into a car.

Tesla’s factory on the outskirts of Berlin was reconnected to the grid on Monday after the March 5 arson attack, claimed by far-left activists.

In a post on X, Musk thanked employees for their efforts: “Thanks to the hard work of the Tesla Giga Berlin team and support from the community, the factory is back online!”

The attack southeast of the German capital set an electricity pylon close to the site ablaze, but the fire did not spread to the Tesla facility – the U.S. electric vehicle maker’s first manufacturing plant in Europe.

Tesla has said it expects hundreds of millions of euros in damages as a result of the disruption to production.

Works council head Michaela Schmitz had told local radio broadcaster rbb on Wednesday that there would be a team meeting at the plant with Musk. She said production had resumed after the week-long outage.

“The machines have been restarted in a controlled and safe manner so that the early shift can resume,” Schmitz told rbb.

Musk has not made any statements about his plans while in Germany, though local media have said that he might meet with political leaders in the state of Brandenburg..

Reporting by Tobias Schlie and Leon Malherbe; writing by Rachel More, Miranda Murray and Madeline Chambers; editing by Bartosz Dabrowski, Bernadette Baum and Emelia Sithole-Matarise