West News Wire: Similar to the bidding among American towns and governments for investments from IT corporations, Mexico is experiencing a fevered race among states to obtain a potential Tesla factory.
Mexican governors have gone to absurd lengths, such as installing billboards, establishing exclusive lanes for cars, or creating mock-ups of Tesla commercials for their states.
Furthermore, there is no assurance that Tesla will construct a whole factory. The hype is unfounded, and the main source of it is Mexican officials’ claims that Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador will speak on the phone soon.
Nuevo Leon, an industrial state in the north, appeared to hold an early lead in the competition.
It painted the Tesla logo on a lane at the Colombia border crossing into Texas last summer, and erecting billboards in December in the state capital, Monterrey, that read “Welcome Tesla.”
Musk at times has floated the idea of building a $25,000 electric vehicle that would cost about $20,000 less than the current Model 3, now Tesla’s least-expensive car. Many automakers build lower-cost models in Mexico to save on labor costs and protect profit margins.
A Tesla investment could be part of “near shoring” by U.S. companies that once manufactured in China but now are leery of logistical and political problems there. That those companies will now turn to Mexico represents the Latin American country’s biggest foreign investment hope.
“The fight among states to attract investments from this nearshoring phenomenon is going to be tough, complicated,” Alfaro said.
As Ramírez Bedolla put it, “wherever Tesla sets up, it is going to be big news in Mexico.”