Wed. Sep 20th, 2023
    Tesla CEO Elon Musk Explores Opportunities for Overseas EV Factories

    Tesla CEO Elon Musk is reportedly in talks with Saudi Arabia and Turkey to establish electric vehicle (EV) factories in those countries. Facing challenges with US labor laws and an unsupportive White House, Musk seeks to expand his company’s presence beyond the US. The Wall Street Journal revealed that Tesla has been in early discussions with Saudi Arabia about opening a factory, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with Musk and expressed eagerness to host a Tesla factory in Turkey.

    Erdoğan proposed not only a Tesla factory but also a collaboration between Turkey and Musk’s aerospace company, SpaceX. In response, Musk acknowledged Turkey as one of the leading candidates for Tesla’s next manufacturing facility. Currently, Tesla operates six plants in the US, Germany, and China, with plans for another factory in Mexico. To achieve Musk’s ambitious target of selling 20 million vehicles annually by 2030, Tesla would need to establish additional factories.

    Saudi Arabia sees Tesla as a crucial player in its efforts to diversify its economy and reduce dependency on oil. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has long desired a Tesla plant in the country, considering the potential impact on foreign investment. Although Musk dismissed the Journal’s report, the Saudis have highlighted their labor supply and ability to source essential metals like cobalt for Tesla and other EV companies.

    These talks with Saudi Arabia and Turkey come as Tesla faces domestic pressures. Musk and President Joe Biden have had a tense relationship, with Musk criticizing Biden’s treatment of Tesla. The company’s non-union status has also become a point of contention, with White House climate adviser Ali Zaid suggesting that Biden should only meet with unionized car company leaders. Additionally, Tesla has faced scrutiny from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over its autopilot feature.

    Despite these challenges, the White House acknowledges Tesla’s significant contributions to the EV industry. While Musk has voiced opposition to certain EV tax credits, the administration recognizes Tesla’s role in advancing electric vehicles. As Tesla explores opportunities for overseas expansion, the company aims to maintain its position as a global leader in the EV market.

    – EV: Electric Vehicle
    – CEO: Chief Executive Officer

    Sources: The Wall Street Journal, The Turkish state media agency Anadolu, CNBC