Santa Catarina, a municipality of less than 310,000 inhabitants on the outskirts of Nuevo Leon, is preparing to receive the first Tesla megafactory in Mexico. Almost two months after his first visit to the northern state, the CEO of Tesla and the second richest man in the world, Elon Musk, is getting closer to making his final decision known about the landing of a mega-plant on border lands. assembly of electric cars According to local media, the construction of the factory required an area of 800 hectares and an investment of more than 10,000 million dollars in different stages. Initially, people close to the negotiation process indicated, components for the vehicles would be produced, however, in later stages the manufacture of the most economical cars of the brand is contemplated.
The first signs of Tesla’s upcoming landing in Mexico occurred last October, when some images of the billionaire were leaked to authorities in Nuevo Leon. In one of the photographs, Musk can be seen on a terrace talking with Emmanuel Loo, Undersecretary of Investment of the State Ministry of Economy. At that meeting on Mexican soil, the now owner of Twitter was accompanied by Rohan Patel, Tesla’s Director of Business Development, Eduardo Grandio, Tesla Mexico’s commercial manager, and the United States ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar.
Although Musk’s flirtation with Nuevo Leon has considered several locations within the state, such as the municipalities of Apodaca or Pesqueria, one of Santa Catarina’s competitive advantages lies in its proximity to Austin, Texas, only about 380 kilometers from the epicenter of Musk’s emporium operations. If the investment in Mexico is confirmed, this will be Tesla’s third megaplant abroad. Before, it has already landed in China and Germany, in addition to the production network it has in the United States.
Jose Zozaya, executive president of the Mexican Association of the Automotive Industry (AMIA) has confirmed to EL PAIS that Tesla representatives contacted him months ago to discuss various issues in the sector. Although Zozaya did not go into details about this contact, he affirms that the confirmation of the arrival of the leading electric car firm in Nuevo Leon would be great news. “Mexico is the preferred place to be able to assemble vehicles that go to the United States, the good news in this case, if confirmed, is that it would be a very large electric car plant and that would position Mexico in the big leagues of electromobility worldwide. worldwide,” he mentions.
The spokesperson for the automotive industry and former CEO of Kansas City Southern in the country adds that, in order to attract this mega-investment, the state and federal governments must guarantee that Tesla will have enough electricity, services, security, and legal certainty to be able to operate. .
If this megafactory reaches the State, it will join other leading companies such as Kia Motors, General Motors and a diaspora of companies specialized in automotive supply such as Katcon, a manufacturer of exhaust systems and catalytic converters. Fernando Turner, executive director of the company, points out that this interest confirms that Mexico, and specifically Monterrey, are an important automotive manufacturing hub due to its proximity to the United States, its specialized workforce, and an important network of suppliers. However, he also warns that it will pose infrastructure challenges. “The state and municipal governments have invested very little in infrastructure, so the State of Nuevo Leon and the federal government must invest more,” he concludes.
Officially, the Government of Nuevo Leon indicated that details of the meeting will not be given because a confidentiality agreement has been signed, however, the clues about Tesla’s landing in the northern state have been flowing in drops. Last April, the governor of Nuevo Leon, Samuel Garcia, visited the Tesla factory in Austin and emphasized the logistical facilities that Nuevo Leon offers Tesla, for example, its own lane at the border crossing between Mexico and the United States for facilitate trade to local suppliers. “We have come to endorse this agreement, that all the assembly, products and all the export of cars that are made in California and Texas will cross the Colombia bridge,” he declared at the time.
The information that Tesla will soon land in Mexico comes a few days after it emerged that Mexico and Canada have won the commercial controversy against the United States over the rules of origin of the automotive sector, under the framework of the TMEC. The dispute centers on nations’ interpretations of how to calculate the percentage of a vehicle that collectively comes from North America. Although official confirmation is still missing, it is expected that the ruling will be announced in the coming days, which will mean greater incentives to manufacture auto parts in Mexican and Canadian territory.
The possible landing in Mexico of the world’s leading electric car company contrasts with its latest financial results. Tesla’s stock value has halved so far in 2022. This plunge is due, in part, to a liquidation to finance Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, as well as certain accidents in which their vehicles have been involved. In addition, in its most recent financial report for the third quarter of the year, the firm admitted the difficulties in ensuring the transportation of the vehicles and the increase in logistics costs.
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