Elon Musk courted by French President as Tesla eyes global expansion

 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has met with the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, as the automaker considers furthering its global expansion.

Alongside its dramatic production ramp, Tesla has been growing its global market presence in parallel. This has included founding new facilities outside its home market of the United States and entering countless new markets with its popular Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. As Tesla hopes to maintain this production ramp, its CEO, Elon Musk, has been courted by French President Emmanual Macron ahead of a business summit in Versailles.

Elon Musk has been on a world tour in recent months, heading to South Korea, Indonesia, and Mexico, and has now made his way to France. The French President announced the meeting with Elon Musk on Twitter earlier today. He explained that the two leaders had met regarding EV technology, the future of energy, and “the attractiveness of France,” among other topics.

The meeting between Macron and Musk comes at a critical time for both leaders. In the case of Elon Musk, Tesla is facing increasing competition in each of its global markets, not the least of which being Europe, on top of mounting pressure to maintain an incredible production ramp, which has made Tesla the guiding EV business globally. As for President Macron, the French leader faces increasing political pressure, including a slim majority in both houses of the French Government and a creeping level of unpopularity in the country.

Tesla is taking its time choosing its next production location, which could easily come to any of the countries the fast-paced CEO has met with in recent months. Tesla is already in the process of establishing its first facility in Mexico, yet many analysts believe that a need for more production in Europe and Asia could drive the automaker to establish new footholds in those key markets.

Looking to Europe, Tesla maintains a substantial market share in many key countries, including France, the U.K., Germany, and the EV leader, Norway. To maintain this lead and help reduce general production reliance on China, France could be a key contributor if Tesla were to establish a new facility in the country.

Following the meeting, Musk elaborated that Tesla will be investing in France at some point, but specifics regarding what that investment could look like remain unknown.

While this statement may sound like France’s admission into Tesla’s fleet of production centers is secured, that is likely not the case. If Tesla were to establish a new facility in Europe, it would likely be a highly competitive choice. While France may be working to develop a more business-friendly environment, Germany has long been the automotive center of Europe. At the same time, countries like Spain, Poland, and Turkey have all been common production choices for the world’s top automakers.

Further courting the CEO, as noted in the tweet from the French President, both Macron and Musk will be attending the “Choose France” Summit, which is set to not only unveil roughly 13 billion euros of new business investments into the country but also tout France as the market of choice for expanding businesses in Europe.

 

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