Tesla CEO Elon Musk met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday while both were visiting New York. And Musk received a high-profile pitch to build a Tesla factory in Turkey.
The meeting, held at Turkish House near the UN, saw President Erdogan directly ask Musk to construct a manufacturing facility in Turkey according to state-run Anadolu Agency.
The request highlights Turkey’s desire to attract EV production as the domestic auto market shifts toward electric vehicles. A potential Tesla factory would bring jobs, technology, and prestige to the country.
Musk and Erdogan were expected to discuss other topics as well like space technology and batteries. But the proposal for a Turkish Tesla plant stole the headlines.
With the meeting happening shortly before Musk’s keynote address at the UN on the role of technology in addressing climate change, Erdogan likely seized the ideal moment to float the idea.
While Tesla has not commented on the possibility, Turkey offers proximity to the massive European EV market combined with lower costs than manufacturing in Western Europe.
Musk recently expressed openness about building a factory in India to produce an affordable EV. Tesla also continues expanding in the US and Germany.
As Tesla rapidly scales production to meet demand, Turkey’s invitation provides another option beyond the current 7-factory footprint. But Musk has many factors to weigh when deciding if and when to expand into additional countries.