Elon Musk denies report that Tesla in talks with Saudis about opening factory

World leaders are courting Musk for Tesla factories, production facilities

Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Monday denied a report that the company is in talks with Saudi Arabia about setting up a manufacturing facility in the country. 

The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter, that the electric vehicle maker is in early talks with Saudi Arabia about the possible plant, and that the kingdom has been wooing Tesla with the right to purchase certain quantities of metals and minerals the company needs for its electric vehicles from countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Musk said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the report is "utterly false."

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The kingdom has been trying to shift its economy away from oil, while its sovereign wealth fund is the majority investor in Lucid Group, one of the EV startups looking to challenge Tesla's dominance of the industry.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

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Musk said in May that Tesla would likely select a new factory location by the end of 2023. The EV company currently has six factories in the U.S., China and Germany, and is building a seventh in Mexico in northern Nuevo Leon state.

Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, center, exits the Turkish House in New York after meeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday. (Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Musk is in demand among world power players. On Sunday, he met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in New York, and in June he met with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shake hands

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, right, meets with Tesla CEO Elon Musk in New York on June 20, 2023. (Indian Press Information Bureau (PIB)/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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A Tesla factory

A Tesla sign is seen on the Shanghai Gigafactory of the U.S. electric carmaker before a delivery ceremony in China on Jan. 7, 2020. (REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo / Reuters Photos)

Tesla is targeting the sale of 20 million vehicles a year by 2030, up from around 1.3 million in 2022. Musk has said the company will likely need around 12 factories to reach production goals.

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Reuters contributed to this report.