MEXICO CITY (AFP) – American electric car maker Tesla will invest about USD5 billion in a massive new factory in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey, a senior government official said on Tuesday.
The move, which has yet to be confirmed by Tesla, would be a major boost to Mexico’s hopes of benefiting from United States (US) companies choosing nearby countries over Asia for their manufacturing operations.
“We brought to Mexico an investment of more or less USD5 billion for the construction of the largest electric vehicle plant in the world,” undersecretary for multilateral affairs and human rights Martha Delgado said in a video posted on Twitter.
“I’m going to Austin, Texas, to witness the announcement @Telsa CEO @elonmusk will make about their investments in 2023,” she added in a text accompanying a video from the Mexico City airport.
Earlier on Tuesday, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced that Tesla was going to open a plant in Monterrey, northern Mexico, about 200 kilometres from the US border.
The factory was expected to be “very big” and would bring “a considerable investment and many jobs”, he said.
Lopez Obrador said Tesla would give more details today, including addressing the problem of water scarcity in Monterrey, an industrial powerhouse home to transnational firms.
In discussions with Elon Musk, the Tesla chief “was very receptive, understanding our concerns”, with measures expected to include the use of recycled water, the president said.
Mexico declared a drought emergency in July last year and authorities in parts of the country, including Monterrey, were forced to ration water use due to depleted reservoirs.