Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Monday denied a report that the company is in talks with Saudi Arabia about setting up a manufacturing facility in the country.
The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter, that the electric vehicle maker is in early talks with Saudi Arabia about the possible plant, and that the kingdom has been wooing Tesla with the right to purchase certain quantities of metals and minerals the company needs for its electric vehicles from countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Musk said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the report is “utterly false.”
The kingdom has been trying to shift its economy away from oil, while its sovereign wealth fund is the majority investor in Lucid Group, one of the EV startups looking to challenge Tesla’s dominance of the industry.
|LCID||LUCID GROUP INC.||5.64||-0.28||-4.73%|
Musk said in May that Tesla would likely select a new factory location by the end of 2023. The EV company currently has six factories in the U.S., China and Germany, and is building a seventh in Mexico in northern Nuevo Leon state.
Musk is in demand among world power players. On Sunday, he met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in New York, and in June he met with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Tesla is targeting the sale of 20 million vehicles a year by 2030, up from around 1.3 million in 2022. Musk has said the company will likely need around 12 factories to reach production goals.
Reuters contributed to this report.