The message to Tesla is clear - Spain is ready and waiting for Tesla to build its first electric car manufacturing plant there.
Tesla opened a new 78,000 square-meter plant in Tilburg, Netherlands in 2015, but only the final assembly processes and testing on the indoor test-track are performed there.
However, Tesla now seems to have a proper, full-fledged factory in mind for the European markets. Earlier this year, CEO Elon Musk hinted quite directly that Tesla will sooner or later need to establish a car-manufacturing base (with most likely more to follow) in Europe (he also mentioned China) - reportedly, they are interested in buidling the first European electric car factory in Alsace, a historical French city located on the west bank of the upper Rhine adjacent to its two neighbours, Germany and Switzerland.
The French are reportedly more than ready to warmly welcome the arrival of Tesla, however, Spain is just as keen to greet them. So far, both countries have proposed possible sites of the future Tesla plant, with Spain deciding to take it up a notch and launch a "Spain hearts (loves) Tesla" campaign, backing it with an open letter to Elon Musk himself, signed by ''The Spanish People", a website and even a promotional video that you can see below. An excerpt from the letter:
"Let us try to explain why we believe Paterna is your best choice:
First of all, Paterna has one of the best industrial parks in Spain, with many specialized automobile industry suppliers, since Ford's factory is already located a couple of minutes away from it. One of the first Tesla Superchargers in Spain can be found there and many worldwide renowned companies have branches in Paterna, like Schneider Electric. Being a few miles away from Valencia means having an international airport and the most important merchant harbor of the entire Mediterranean Sea at your disposal. As you read this letter, international high speed train lines (the Mediterranean Railway Corridor project) are also being built from Valencia to other countries, such as France and Germany.
Spain is currently the 8th largest automobile manufacturer in the world, and the 2nd largest in Europe. This guarantees both a strong auxiliary industry and the availability of highly qualified and experienced human resources. Adding to all of these factors, it is important to mention the lower hiring costs compared to other European countries like France or Germany. At this point, Spain clearly is the ideal candidate."
It certainly makes sense to have a plant located near the target consumers, the questions is - who will win Tesla? Will there be a third (a fourth, a fifth) party entering the race for Tesla's attention? Let's see how it all unfolds, but in any case, we are very excited by the prospect of having Tesla's manufacturing plant a lot closer than an entire ocean away.
You can also visit the enthusiastic Spanish team on Facebook.