Tesla: One million EVs from Mexico?

Tesla recently announced that it is building a factory for its next generation of vehicles in Mexico. Apparently, the plant will be almost twice the size of that in Texas, even though the carmaker said that it would reduce the amount of manufacturing space needed to produce EVs in the future.

Construction in Santa Catarina in Mexico’s northern border state Nuevo Leon will kick off in three months. The plot spans almost 4,200 acres (nearly 17 kilometres squared). Tesla’s factory in Austin, Texas, is about 2,500 acres (about 10 square kilometres) – meaning the Mexican plant could be almost twice the size as that in Texas.

Citing Mexica officials, Reuters reports that once the plant is completed, up to one million EVs per year will roll off the production line in Mexico. Though the carmaker has not said what models exactly – only that it will be the „next generation.“ At its Investor Day last week, CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla could also produce batteries at the new site at a later date.

Jesus Nava, the mayor of Santa Catarina, told the news agency that Tesla would initially invest 5 billion dollars in the plant and hire some 5,000 workers. Ultimately, the carmaker will double its investment there, creating 10,000 new jobs.

Matthew Donegan-Ryan gives further details on Twitter after a conversation with Tom Zhu, who was just named the most influential manager of Tesla after CEO Elon Musk. According to Donegan-Ryan, the ‘Gen 3 platform’ will first be built in Mexico and later be “copied and pasted” to other Gigafactories. The EVs should roll off the assembly line in Mexico in 18 to 24 months.

One detail about the vehicles: Tesla could possibly dispense with coloured paints and bring the models in the stainless steel look of the Cybertruck. Production chief Zhu reportedly smiled in response to a question to that effect, answering, “Paint is expensive.” However, optional paints can usually be offered at a higher price and were previously considered a relatively simple means of increasing margins.

Moreover, parallel to the construction of the factory in Mexico, Tesla is planning to build another factory. It is not yet clear where. According to earlier reports, Indonesia and Canada are both considered possible locations.

Another interesting fact: a user posted a map excerpt in Donegan-Ryan’s Twitter thread, which supposedly shows the plot Tesla has acquired – the accuracy cannot be confirmed at this time. According to the user, only a very small part of the area can actually be used for industrial purposes. The remaining area is made up of a riverbed and the mountains shown in the Tesla rendering. The fact that the usable area is smaller than the Giga Texas despite the allegedly higher outputs would at least fit in with Tesla’s claims that the new platform requires 40 to 50 per cent less space for production.

reuters.com, twitter.com (thread)


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