Indonesia President Widodo and Tesla CEO Elon Musk meet in Texas. Image courtesy of Indonesian Presidential Press Office.

Tesla May Be Finalizing Plans For Indonesia Plant

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A major part of Tesla’s long-term plans includes expanding production to several different countries beyond its headquarters in the U.S. A new report suggests that Tesla could be getting serious about building another Gigafactory in Asia, in a country that’s already set to become one of the automaker’s key suppliers.

Tesla is getting close to signing a deal to build a plant in Indonesia, according to sources familiar with the matter in a report from Bloomberg. The news comes after Tesla has negotiated with the country for months, especially discussing the Southeast Asian nation’s rich supply of nickel — a crucial mineral for building electric vehicle batteries.

According to one of the sources, Tesla’s plans include multiple facilities in the country for a combination of production and supply chain needs. The sources also noted that a contract hasn’t yet been signed, meaning it’s entirely possible that the deal could still fall through.

Indonesia President Widodo and Tesla CEO Elon Musk meet in Texas. Image courtesy of Indonesian Presidential Press Office.

The sources asked to remain anonymous, as the discussions are not yet public. It’s worth noting, though, that Musk later tweeted in a thread that writers should “Please be cautious about writing articles citing ‘unnamed sources’, as they are frequently false.”

In May, Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited the U.S., culminating in a $5 billion nickel supply deal just a few months later. Widodo also said in an interview that he wanted Tesla to build its EVs in Indonesia, rather than just building batteries or receiving a nickel supply. Additionally, Widodo added that he was willing to spend more time convincing Musk and Tesla to view Indonesia as more than just a resource supplier.

Tesla eventually plans to open 10 to 12 Gigafactories in markets around the globe, according to statements from Musk at last year’s shareholder’s meeting. Currently, Tesla operates just two factories outside of the U.S., its Gigafactory Shanghai and its Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg which was opened last year.

Reports have also suggested that Tesla plans to build an EV factory in Mexico’s state of Nuevo León, according to reports from multiple local outlets. Some have also pointed to Canada as a likely candidate for a Tesla Gigafactory.

The news also comes as many critics of the automaker cite recent price cuts in China as a grasp to pick demand back up. In any case, Tesla’s increases to production are noteworthy, even as some believe increasing competition for EVs could threaten the automaker’s dominant position in the EV sector.

Courtesy of EVANNEX, by Peter McGuthrie.

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