It appears that the talk between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was quite successful. As per Mexican officials, the conversation between the CEO and President went really well.
Recent reports have suggested that Tesla is on the verge of announcing an investment for a dedicated facility in Mexico. But while initial reports and Musk’s own visits suggested that the state of Nuevo Leon was shortlisted for the project, recent statements from Lopez Obrador suggested that the deal may fall through.
As per Lopez Obrador on Friday, Tesla would be denied permits to build a facility in Nuevo Leon if water is scarce in the region. For context, Nuevo Leon is an opposition-run state located close to the US-Mexico border. It is also already home to a number of Tesla suppliers.
Speaking with Reuters after Musk and the Mexico President’s call, one official noted that the two sides were “90%” of the way towards an agreement. “The call went really well,” another official noted.
Another official stated that the details of Tesla and Mexico’s agreement would be announced on Tuesday. Two of the officials also noted that the CEO and Mexican President had already spoken on Saturday. The calls were reportedly extensive, with Musk and Lopez Obrador’s call on Saturday lasting about 35 minutes and the Monday call lasting around 40 minutes.
Neither Tesla nor the Mexican President’s office had issued a comment about the matter.
Discussions surrounding Tesla and its potential investments in Mexico are proving to be a significant challenge for Lopez Obrador. In a way, the success of Tesla’s potential Mexico investment will serve as a litmus test for the President’s policy of resource nationalism, which has caused concern among some business groups.
Despite the Mexican President’s statement last Friday about Tesla potentially not being given a permit if there is a water shortage in Nuevo Leon, one of the officials who spoke to Reuters noted that the state is still in the running.