The Economy Minister of France, Michel Sapin, visited Tesla’s Fremont, California, headquarters on Friday in a bid to snag the electric vehicle manufacturer’s next production facility, according to recent reports.
A spokesperson for the ministry was quoted as saying that Sapin was touring Tesla’s production facility to make the case that if Tesla is going to expand, it should do so in France. Probably not a bad idea considering that there are a number of places in Europe that are probably looking very attractive to Tesla as far as expansion goes, not just in France.
As a reminder, Tesla recently acquired the German manufacturing firm Grohmann Engineering and currently runs an assembly facility in Tilburg (the Netherlands). Would the firm prefer to stay in one of these two countries? Are the cheaper operating costs of Central and Eastern Europe bound to draw it there? Is France really on the table? What about Spain?
Bloomberg provides more:
“Musk, meanwhile, spent his afternoon talking job creation at home. The entrepreneur behind companies building electric cars and rockets in the US discussed economic matters and hiring in a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and aides Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, according to a senior Trump transition official.
“Tesla hasn’t laid out specific international expansion plans. A spokeswoman declined to comment on Sapin’s visit. The car-maker said in its third-quarter update letter on October 26 that it will continue expanding production capacity at its Fremont facility while ‘exploring additional production capacity in Asia and Europe.’ “
In related news, electric vehicle sales in France have been rising fairly rapidly as of late, thanks to improving options and generous incentives (up to €10,000 per car, which is currently ~$10,500). I wonder if Tesla Model 3 sales in the country would get a substantial boost if the car were to be manufactured there? Or would people just assume that it was made in the US (as many people assume all Toyotas are made in Japan, all BMWs in Germany, etc.)?
Featured image courtesy: Tesla