A Tesla Gigafactory in South East Asia seems less likely in current economic conditions – no “full tilt”

A Tesla Gigafactory in South East Asia seems less likely in current economic conditions – no “full tilt”

Malaysia, Indonesia and recently Thailand have all set their eyes on being the location for a Gigafactory in South East Asia. They might have to wait a while longer for that to happen, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s mood during Tesla’s Q3 2023 earnings call last night was a mix of caution and optimism.

He expressed caution multiple times and repeated references to past experiences, like the 2008-2009 financial crisis. He mentions being “scarred” by past experiences and having “PTSD from 2009,” which suggests a level of apprehension.

As we know, the last officially announced new Tesla factory location was Mexico. Elon Musk explicitly states, “we’re definitely making the factory in Mexico,” emphasizing that they feel very good about the chosen location. The factory is not just a concept; it’s a committed project.

A Tesla Gigafactory in South East Asia seems less likely in current economic conditions – no “full tilt”

However, the timing of the factory’s construction is tied to economic conditions, particularly interest rates. Musk mentions that if interest rates keep rising, it fundamentally reduces the affordability of Tesla’s vehicles, which could impact the timing of the factory’s construction.

He suggests that initial phases of construction for the Mexico factory could start next year but emphasizes that he doesn’t want to go “full tilt” into economic uncertainty. Instead, Tesla has room for scaling production in its existing facilities, particularly in Texas, where they have 2,000 acres of land.

While discussing the Texas facility, Musk also touched on the challenge of personnel availability. He mentions that the greater Austin area has a limited population, which could be a constraint for scaling production. However, he notes that people are willing to move to the area, albeit facing a housing crisis.

So if Tesla is taking it slow with the confirmed Mexico plant, it’s very unlikely that they would set up a new plant anywhere else. The only reason why a new factory could be established in this region or any other region at that would be if Tesla has trouble with staffing factories in existing locations.

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Harvinder Sidhu

Harvinder Singh Sidhu thinks there's nothing better than Formula 1, not even sliced bread. Having written about cars since 2006, he plunged head first into the industry out of a passion for all things four-wheeled and everything in between. The F1 enthusiast has been following the sport since 1999 and has been keeping up with it since. In between races he keeps himself busy as the host of the Driven motoring show and as our version of the Joker.



  • How dare you take people’s Kopiko and backtrack?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7
    • Isn't that's why he's filthy rich? on Oct 19, 2023 at 7:04 pm

      He’s in this business to make tonnes of money, not to become a charity. He already knows this because he has done it before.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  • He Long Must on Oct 19, 2023 at 6:33 pm

    He was funny. That I gotta admit. Opening a factory in indonesia? Hahahaha

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5
    • Bob Mal on Oct 20, 2023 at 5:31 pm

      Sooner not later he will have to open it at our region because it is right hand drive while all other Tesla factory is situated in left hand drive region.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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