Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk has touched down in Berlin before the electric-car maker hosts one of the front-runners to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor.
The Tesla chief executive officer’s jet landed in the German capital Wednesday afternoon, according to a Twitter account that tracks the movement of his plane. Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union announced earlier this week that Armin Laschet, the party’s chairman, will visit the company’s unfinished car and battery factory on Friday.
Joerg Steinbach, the economy minister for the state of Brandenburg, where Tesla is constructing its plant, tweeted later that he had a “very relaxed evening meeting” with Musk, co-workers and Brandenburg Premier Dietmar Woidke.
CDU officials said they are not aware whether Musk will take part in Laschet’s visit on Friday. A representative for Tesla didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Germany’s next chancellor will come under pressure to accelerate the pace of technological progress to ensure Europe’s biggest economy modernizes and remains competitive in the digital age. While the country scored a major victory when Musk announced plans to build a factory near Berlin, the project has fallen months behind schedule, with Tesla bemoaning an “irritating” process of obtaining regulatory approvals.
Although Laschet is still one of the leaders in the race to succeed Merkel, he and the conservative bloc have had a rocky few weeks. The CDU’s advantage over the second-place Greens has shrunk in recent polls, with the Social Democrats gaining ground in third place.
© Copyright 2021 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.