Italian minister ‘opens doors wide’ for Tesla, Musk
Tesla has expanded its manufacturing presence well beyond the U.S. at this point, now with Gigafactory locations in both China and Germany, along with those in its home market. And ahead of the automaker’s announcement of a new Gigafactory location, expected by the end of this year, one European country is encouraging the U.S. manufacturer to consider it for future endeavors.
Above: An assembly line at Gigafactory Texas. Photo: Tesla
Italian Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Matteo Salvini said that the country would “open [its] doors wide for” Tesla and CEO Elon Musk, as stated in a webinar held by the Italian outlet Il Messaggero, and detailed in a report from Teslarati. Salvini noted Italy’s diminishing car industry during the online event, adding that the country wanted to be attractive to foreign investments and capital.
“I see the photo of Elon Musk, one of the main innovative geniuses. And I would like him to be able to work more with Italy, for Italy, and in Italy. I’d like to create a pole of attraction for foreign investments and capital that would become a point of reference for innovation,” Salvini said during the webinar.
Salvini also briefly referenced the regulatory process in Germany that oversaw Tesla’s Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg being constructed, a system which CEO Elon Musk criticized for taking a long time. Instead, Salvini suggests that bringing manufacturing to Italy could potentially be a more straightforward, supportive process for the U.S. automaker.
“Since the car industry in Italy alas no longer exists — I asked when I was at the Viminale and still today to travel in an Italian and not a German car. So inviting Elon Musk to invest in Italy and open in Italy is one of those ambitious goals that we are setting ourselves. I know that he has some problems with landing in Germany, and we are opening our doors wide for him,” Salvini added.
Historically, Italy has been home to luxury automaker giants Ferrari, Lamborgini and Maserati, though none of the companies’ first EVs aren’t set to launch before 2023. Comparatively, Tesla offers four electric vehicles and the company currently has a grasp on the EV industry as a whole. Tesla only opened its first European factory earlier this year with Giga Berlin, though the location is already beginning expansion plans.
Interestingly, Tesla’s casting machines for its vehicles are made by an Italian company called IDRA, and the company recently developed a machine meant to produce the Cybertruck. The “Giga Press” machines play an important role in producing Tesla’s single-cast vehicles, so at least one element of the U.S. automaker’s manufacturing is already based in the country.
Recently, Tesla also opened its Supercharger network to non-Tesla vehicles in Italy, as a part of a pilot program testing the inclusion of other brands in its charging network. The feature is also expected to hit the U.S. by the end of the year, according to a White House memo that surfaced earlier this year.