Elon Musk pledged that he would seriously consider England as a location for a Tesla megafactory. This comes at a time when the electric vehicle maker is ramping up production around the globe.
The billionaire announced on Tuesday that Tesla would make decisions regarding future manufacturing sites in the coming months.
Musk told The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council that he was not looking for new locations at the moment, but would do so by the end of this calendar year. Musk responded that he would strongly consider England as a possible future location for a Tesla gigafactory when asked about the possibility of Tesla setting up a site in Britain.
Tesla’s chief executive’s comments will intensify interest in its manufacturing plans. Musk announced that Tesla would be investing heavily in France after visiting the Elysee Palace last week as the guest of honour at President Macron’s annual global executive summit.
Tesla’s only European gigafactory in Germany opened in March of last year. It now produces about 5,000 vehicles per week.
The company’s relationship was strong enough in 2014 to allow it to build a facility for research and development in Britain. However, that did not happen. Musk, 51 years old, said that it was “too dangerous” to build a gigafactory because of the Brexit vote.
Tesla, which led the electric revolution in 2010, has ambitious plans for production. It aims to sell 20 million cars by 2030 (up from 1,31 million last year) and must increase its manufacturing capacity.
Musk is also the CEO of Twitter, the rockets-and-satellites business SpaceX, The Boring Company (a tunnelling venture), and Neuralink – a startup that wants to implant microchips into the human brain.
Musk, who appeared remotely at a Wall Street Journal event on Thursday, said that he has identified a Tesla board member who could, “in the worst-case scenario”, run the company. Musk said, “I have told the board that if I were to die unexpectedly, then this is who I would recommend as my successor.”
Tesla shares fell 1.6 percent, or $3.10 to $185.77, in New York.