According to sources familiar with the matter, Saudi Arabia is currently in talks with Tesla to establish a manufacturing facility in the kingdom. This development comes shortly after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan personally urged Tesla CEO Elon Musk to consider building a vehicle factory in Turkey. Additionally, Musk is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss potential collaborations.
Saudi Arabia has been actively engaging Tesla by offering the opportunity to purchase necessary metals and minerals for its electric vehicles from countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo. This move is in line with Saudi Arabia’s efforts to diversify its economy away from oil dependence. Furthermore, the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, is a major investor in Lucid Group, an electric vehicle startup that aims to rival Tesla’s dominance.
The Wall Street Journal report also suggests that one of the proposals being considered by Saudi Arabia involves providing financing to commodities-trading giant Trafigura for a Congo cobalt and copper project. This agreement could potentially supply a Tesla factory with essential resources. However, no official statements have been released by Tesla, Trafigura, or the Saudi Arabian sovereign fund regarding these discussions.
Musk previously mentioned that Tesla intends to select a location for a new factory by the end of this year. Currently, the company operates six factories across the globe, with an upcoming seventh factory in Mexico. The expansion is part of Tesla’s ambitious goal to sell 20 million vehicles annually by 2030, a significant increase from the approximately 1.3 million vehicles sold in 2022.