Tesla hopes to replicate Giga Shanghai lines in Mexico, but U.S. isn’t thrilled


Tesla is hoping to replicate production lines in Shanghai at its upcoming Giga Mexico factory by inviting Chinese companies to supply the manufacturing efforts with localized plants.

However, U.S. officials are not thrilled about the potential for Chinese companies to supply Tesla and its new factory, which will produce its next-gen platform.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Tesla CEO Elon Musk invited Chinese suppliers to Mexico in hopes of creating a similar production line to those that operate at Giga Shanghai.

Giga Shanghai is widely considered Tesla’s best factory in terms of build quality and talent, and it has also been responsible for a majority of production in some years in the past, despite there being three other actively producing factories in Fremont, Austin, and Berlin.

It is understandable why Tesla would want to replicate production lines in China at its new project in Mexico, but planned suppliers are also expected to be from China.

Tesla Giga Mexico site prepares for nearshoring activity spike

China has a very efficient supply chain for parts, and a 2018 trade war initiated by the Trump Adminsitration pushed Chinese companies to snap up Mexican land for parts production.

The report cites data from Finsa, which states that Chinese industrial companies had 9.31 million square feet of industrial park space in Mexico by 2023, up from just 1.28 million in 2019.

Having EVs built in Mexico still helps the vehicles qualify for the $7,500 EV tax credit. Tax lawyers in the U.S. also state that as long as no battery minerals or components are sourced from China, they will still qualify for the full tax credit.

This makes things complicated because the loophole could lead to cheap EVs that are not necessarily built in the U.S. but are still able to qualify for the tax credit. It does not benefit the U.S. workforce or economy.

BYD, Chery, and SAIC, all Chinese brands, are already looking to build plants and manufacture EVs in Mexico. Their cars could be in the U.S. within the next six years.

It goes past EV makers, as battery companies are also thinking about getting land in Mexico for factories. CATL is just one of them, and it’s the largest battery manufacturer in the world.

The surge in Chinese companies flocking to Mexico resulted in 2023 showing the lowest rate of direct exports to the U.S. since 2010.

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Tesla hopes to replicate Giga Shanghai lines in Mexico, but U.S. isn’t thrilled


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