Elon Musk says Tesla could build Gigafactory in South Korea

musk yoon
Credit: Yonhap

Elon Musk has said Tesla could have as many as 12 Gigafactories by 2030, and it looks like one of those could be in South Korea. In a virtual meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, Musk said he considers the country a top candidate for Tesla’s next Asian Gigafactory.

Musk and Yoon were planning on meeting in person at the B-20 summit in Bali, but that meeting was shifted to a virtual one when Musk was unable to make the trip to Bali earlier this month.

According to a statement from the president’s office, Yoon and Musk’s rescheduled meeting took place on Wednesday morning, where the pair discussed “global technological innovation” and on how Tesla and South Korea could “cooperate in investment regarding electric vehicle production.”

Making his case, Yoon told Musk of his country’s “world-class automotive industry ecosystem and investment conditions,” specifically asking the Tesla CEO for an investment in Korea.

Musk was apparently receptive to the idea, saying he considers South Korea one of his prime investment candidates, and that he will review things like the level of manpower, technology and the production environment before making a decision.

Even without a Gigafactory, Tesla is already investing heavily in the South Korean economy. Musk reportedly told Yoon the company will be spending more than $10 billion next year to source parts from the country, and that Tesla plans to actively invest in South Korea’s EV charging infrastructure.

Yoon didn’t stop at seeking an investment from just Tesla, also asking Musk to consider cooperation between SpaceX and the Korean space industry.

South Korea isn’t the only country vying for a multi-billion dollar investment from Tesla. Indonesia has also thrown their hat in the ring with President Joko Widodo visiting Musk at SpaceX’s Boca Chia facilities earlier this year.

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Then of course there is Canada, which Musk has hinted could be the location of the next North American Gigafactory. Documents have shown Tesla has been actively lobbying the federal government for an “advanced manufacturing facility” in Canada, and has even published some job postings hinting a major hiring campaign might begin soon.

At the Annual Shareholder Meeting in August, Musk said a decision on the next Gigafactory could happen before the end of the year.

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Founder and Editor-in-chief of Drive Tesla Canada | Darryn@DriveTeslaCanada.ca Have a Tesla tip? Email tips@driveteslacanada.ca, or DM us on Twitter @DriveTeslaca