Tesla will invest about five billion dollars in Mexico to build its “largest factory” in the world, the Mexican government said on Tuesday. Elon Musk confirmed the information on Wednesday, without relaying the amount mentioned.
“This investment has materialized after 14 months of work,” said an undersecretary for Mexican Foreign Relations on Twitter. The somewhat offbeat announcement by a simple “undersecretary” made it possible to obtain more details on an announcement relayed the same morning by the Mexican President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
The water problem taken into account
Tesla will set up its factory in Monterrey, in the north of the country, 200 km from the border with the United States. “It’s going to mean a huge investment and lots and lots of jobs,” the president said. “I want to thank Mr. Elon Musk because he was very respectful and very attentive. He understood the importance of taking into account the problem of water shortage. »
“There is a first commitment, which is that of using recycled water throughout the manufacturing process”, specified the Head of State. Monterrey is one of Mexico’s economic and industrial engines. The region experienced a major drought in 2022, during which local authorities had to ration the distribution of water to populations.
Lithium and many factories
This plant will be Tesla’s third abroad and the first in Latin America. Elon Musk’s company already has a “gigafactory” near Berlin (Germany) and another in Shanghai (China). At the beginning of February, BMW had already announced an investment of 870 million dollars to manufacture electric cars in Mexico.
The country has potential lithium deposits in the state of Sonora, in the north. On February 18, the president signed a decree nationalizing the possible future production of lithium “so that foreigners cannot exploit it, neither Russia, nor China, nor the United States. “.
Mexico is the world’s seventh largest automobile producer. The German groups Volkswagen and Audi, American General Motors and Ford, and Japanese groups Honda, Nissan and Toyota have vehicle or engine manufacturing units in the country. Hyundai and Stellantis also have factories in Mexico.