Saudi Arabia is in early talks with US electric car maker Tesla to establish a manufacturing facility in the kingdom Wall Street Journal As reported by Reuters on Monday, citing sources familiar with the matter.
The report comes just hours after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asked Tesla CEO Elon Musk to build a car factory in Turkey, according to the country’s Communications Directorate.
Musk is also scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in California on Monday.
The report said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is seeking to attract Tesla to obtain the right to purchase certain quantities of metals and metals that the company needs for its electric cars from countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The kingdom is trying to shift its economy away from oil, while its sovereign wealth fund is the largest investor in Lucid Group, an electric car startup looking to challenge Tesla’s dominance of the industry.
The Wall Street Journal report said that one of the proposals being considered by the Kingdom includes providing financing to commodity trading giant Trafigura for a faltering cobalt and copper project in Congo, which could help supply a potential Tesla factory.
Tesla and Trafigura did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment, while the Public Investment Fund, the Saudi sovereign fund, declined to comment.
Musk said in May that Tesla may choose a location for a new factory by the end of this year. It currently has six factories and is building a seventh in Mexico in the northern state of Nuevo Leon, as part of the automaker’s efforts to expand its global presence.
The company aims to sell 20 million cars annually by 2030, up from about 1.3 million in 2022.