Tesla courts Italy for new electric vehicle facility

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File photo.

27th March 2024 – (Rome) U.S. automotive titan Tesla Inc. is reportedly in advanced discussions with Italian authorities to establish a new electric vehicle manufacturing hub in the nation’s southern region, Italian outlets revealed on Tuesday. The Elon Musk-led company is poised to focus on the production of electric trucks and vans, potentially marking a significant investment in Italy’s automotive sector.

The dialogue, which has been ongoing for several months, involves the Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy, underscoring Italy’s strategic push to revitalise its car manufacturing industry. Tesla’s exploration of possible locations for the facility underscores the seriousness of the negotiations.

Italy’s overtures to Tesla come as part of a broader initiative by Rome to invigorate domestic car production, which has seen a decline in recent years. In a statement earlier this year, Minister Adolfo Urso highlighted the imperative to increase Italy’s annual car production from its current level of fewer than 800,000 vehicles to an ambitious target of 1.3 million. This surge is seen as vital to safeguarding the nation’s automotive industry, particularly as it navigates the seismic shift towards electric mobility.

The American electric vehicle giant’s interest in Italy aligns with the country’s broader engagement with global automakers. Reports indicate that Italy is also in discussions with a trio of Chinese manufacturers—BYD, Great Wall Motors, and Chery Automobile—suggesting a competitive international landscape as countries vie for a leadership role in the burgeoning EV market.