Rumors of a potential Tesla Gigafactory in Canada were recently fueled again after Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry François-Philippe Champagne mentioned that he and his team are heading over to California on Friday to meet with an automaker. The official made his comments at the Detroit Auto Show.
In a post on Twitter, Champagne noted that he and his team had meetings with General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis at the Detroit Auto Show. However, he and his team are not done, as they will be heading to California for a talk with “another auto manufacturer to bring more investment, create jobs, and build an economy that works for everyone.”
Champagne’s comments promptly fueled speculations that he may be meeting with Tesla, especially considering that the electric vehicle maker is the largest automaker operating in California today. Of course, other EV companies like Rivian and Lucid also have a presence in California, but both companies are still ramping their operations. Tesla, on the other hand, is a mature EV maker that’s looking to expand.
That being said, Tesla’s headquarters is now formally in Texas, though the company still has a prominent presence in California. An online tracker of Elon Musk’s private jet has indicated that the Tesla CEO recently flew to Hawthorne, California, the site of SpaceX’s headquarters.
It’s important to point out that Champagne noted last week that he has been in discussions with Tesla, along with other automakers. In late August, the Minister also visited a Tesla facility in Markham, Ontario, Canada. This suggests that the official is in active communication with Tesla, and he has made quite a bit of effort to visit the electric vehicle maker’s facilities.
The idea of a potential Gigafactory in Canada has become quite prominent recently, especially after Elon Musk responded positively to the idea during his talk at the 2022 Cyber Roundup (2022 Annual Shareholder Meeting). Musk noted that Tesla would likely announce the site of a new factory by the end of the year, before asking the audience where they think the upcoming facility should be built. After some in the audience suggested Canada, Musk joked that “I’m half Canadian, so maybe I should.”