A recent conversation was revealed between Elon Musk and South Korea president Yoon Suk-Yeol. During the video call, Elon Musk told that he was considering South Korea as one of the top candidates for a Tesla factory in Asia. It was known since the year beginning that Tesla is going to announce its next gigafactory location by this year-end. However, South Korea is not confirmed officially for now.
Besides the conversation, there was evidence found in a few documents and occurrences. Last quarter these were observed, suggesting to build of its next gigafactory in Canada. The Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry in Canada, Francois-Philippe Champagne (FPC), confirmed that he held talks with Tesla. Minister Champagne also visited Tesla’s Markham facility in Canada. The Markham site makes machines installed at Tesla gigafactories worldwide. In reference to a factory in Canada, in August Tesla lobbyist registry documents in the country revealed that Tesla is in talks with the country’s federal government. The records covered possibilities of Tesla exploring manufacturing opportunities in Canada and speeding up permit timelines.
The country aims to become the global auto industry’s “supplier of choice.” The country is well-positioned to be a strong contender as a top EV supplier in North America, especially after the United States passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
While a factory in Canada would be an add-on, the automaker is also considering strengthening its presence in Asia. It would mean South Korea would be the top considered country according to Elon Musk. Giga Shanghai has been a powerhouse factory for the company, making significant contributions to Tesla’s output and finances. However, the tension between the United States and China might place Tesla in a precarious position. South Korea is an ideal country for another Tesla gigafactory in Asia. Elon Musk and President Yoon also talked about Tesla stepping up cooperation with South Korea on supply chains, hinting that the EV maker would have a reliable support system for a gigafactory in the country.
The company has strong ties with South Korea already. It is working with the South Korean company, LG Energy Solutions (LGES) to make EV batteries. In June, the South Korean battery producer announced plans to invest $567.76 million to expand production at home. LGES announced its expansion, which included plans for a new assembly that would produce 4680 cylindrical battery cells. By this year-end, more details are expected to be revealed on where the next gigafactory is going to be.