Elon Musk’s Tesla is reportedly in early-stage discussions with Saudi Arabia to establish a manufacturing facility, a move that could prove controversial based on the blowback over the country backing LIV Golf and its eventual merger with the PGA. Musk took to his own Twitter/X platform to deny the story, calling it a “false article.”
Elon Musk’s Tesla is in preliminary talks with Saudi Arabia about setting up a manufacturing facility in the kingdom according to a recent report from the Wall Street Journal. The discussions are part of Saudi Arabia’s ambitious plan to diversify its oil-dependent economy and secure essential metals for electric vehicles. If built the facility would broaden Tesla’s international footprint beyond its current levels, which most notably includes massive operations in communist China.
Chinese President, Xi Jinping (L) is welcomed by Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud (R) at the Palace of Yamamah in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on December 8, 2022. Chinese President Jinping is in Saudi Arabia to attend China-Arab States Summit and the China-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit. (Photo by Royal Court of Saudi Arabia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Musk took to Twitter/X to claim the Wall Street Journal story is a “false article.”
Yet another utterly false article from WSJ pic.twitter.com/sisFcxYKxI— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 18, 2023
Saudi Arabia has been enticing Tesla with the right to purchase certain quantities of metals like cobalt from countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo. The kingdom is also considering extending financing to commodities-trading giant Trafigura for a Congo cobalt and copper project, which could ultimately supply a Tesla vehicle factory.
However, the talks are at a very early stage and could fall apart due to various complications. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has had a contentious relationship with the Saudis, and the kingdom already has a partnership with Tesla’s electric-vehicle rival, Lucid. Lucid is majority-owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund and is expected to start production in the kingdom soon. When Musk made his infamous fraudulent claim that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private, he claimed it was the Saudis who would fund the deal.
The Saudi Public Investment Fund has previously invested in various sectors, including sports. Earlier this year, the PGA Tour decided to merge with LIV Golf, a Saudi-backed rival. Despite facing criticism for ‘sportswashing’ and human rights violations, the deal went through, showcasing Saudi Arabia’s growing influence in various industries.
Read more at the Wall Street Journal here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.