Elon Musk stopped by England earlier this week, and it spurred the rumor of a potential Tesla factory in the country due to the timing of land search.
Last year, we reported on local reports in the UK that Tesla was working with the government to look for a site to build an “electric vehicle (EV) research, development, and manufacturing plant.”
The Department for International Trade (DIT) confirmed that it is looking for a site for a facility related to electric vehicles but didn’t say it was for Tesla.
Rumors of a potential factory in the UK ramped last summer when Elon Musk reportedly visited a site near Bristol.
Now, it’s happening again.
Earlier this week, Musk’s jet stopped at a corporate airport outside of London for more than a day:
The visit coincided with a reported government search for a site for an unknown project (via BBC):
The Telegraph reported (behind a paywall) that regional authorities – including those in Teesside and the West Midlands – were given an unusually short 48 hours to prepare bids for a 250-hectare site, without being told what company the bid was for.
The process was run by the Office for Investment, a new government office which is designed to help smooth out discussions between the public sector and private foreign investors post-Brexit.
Tesla nor the government confirmed anything, but the timing spurred rumors of a potential Tesla factory again.
Musk previously stated that Tesla looked at the UK for a possible factory location before choosing to build its first European Gigafactory near Berlin, but the company thought it “too risky to put a Gigafactory in the UK” due to “Brexit uncertainty.”
However, the UK has since become an even more important market for Tesla.
Last quarter, Tesla delivered 7,304 electric cars in the UK — more than any other European market.
The UK is expected to be an even more important market for Tesla once the automaker starts to produce the right-hand-drive Model Y.