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Tesla is in talks to build a factory in Thailand, government official says

Hong Kong/Bangkok CNN  —  Tesla is in talks with the Thai government to build a production facility in the country, the prime minister’s office told CNN on Tuesday. The government has offered Tesla (TSLA) a 100% green facility, according to Prommin Lertsuriyadej, the prime minister’s secretary, who added: “We are in talks with them.” According to Prommin, Tesla representatives last visited Thailand in November, the same month Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin visited the electrical vehicle giant’s Gigafactory in Fremont, California. CNN has reached out to Tesla for comment. In a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter, on November 14, Srettha said he had a “great discussion on future collaborations” on electric vehicles and clean energy. “It is my hope that this collaboration will cement Thailand as the hub for EV and renewable energy in the years to come,” he wrote. “Look forward to seeing more Tesla presence in our home country.” The EV maker faces stiff competition in Thailand from the likes of Chinese rival BYD, which overtook Tesla to become the world’s biggest electric car company in the final quarter of 2023. Thailand has won commitments worth more than 150 billion baht ($4.2 billion) from Chinese and Japanese investors to develop their EV supply chains in the country, according to the prime minister’s office. Tesla currently has one gigafactory in Asia, which is located in Shanghai. That factory is Tesla’s biggest car manufacturing plant outside the United States and accounted for the bulk of its global deliveries last year. Last June, CEO Elon Musk said Tesla was looking to invest in another Asian country, India, “as soon as humanly possible,” following a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York. But details have been scant so far.