Tesla charging station.
Tesla's arrival south of the U.S. border is a major economic opportunity for Mexico. Photo: Pixabay.

Tesla's arrival in Mexico expected to boost 50-year growth in the country's north

A new manufacturing plant will be located in Santa Catarina, Nuevo León.


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Jesús Nava, mayor of Santa Catarina, Nuevo León, Mexico — the city chosen by Tesla where it will build a new factory, spoke to EFE about the challenges the billion-dollar investment poses for his community — a town near Monterrey.

Nava said:

We came with a statistical growth, in the last 10 years, of close to an investment of $2 billion; Tesla in a single year will give five times what came to Santa Catarina in the last 10 years.

The mayor said that, despite being very good news for the region's economy — as the creation of the plant will boost employment, the economy, and social investment — the magnitude of the operation requires clear guidelines so sustainable development is achieved and favors the majority of people who live there.

“There has to be a very balanced growth with access to housing, to services, with access to commerce, with access to health, public spaces, security, and public transportation. How is it to be achieved (orderly development)? Through the Urban Development Plan, with which we are going to define very well the areas of housing, service, commercial, industrial growth and also with a mobility and accessibility plan,” said Nava.

Investing in Mexico

After Elon Musk confirmed the news of the company's new mega factory in Nuevo León on March 1, Nava highlighted several of the considerations that should be taken into account, including one that specifies that 95% of the territory of Santa Catarina is a protected natural area, so the growth that will follow the construction of the plant must be balanced.

Within the Urban Development Plan contemplated by the Mayor, 5% of the city area is considered developable, of which 60% is already covered, and the new manufacturing plant will be installed in the remaining 40%.

Although Nava assured that a comprehensive plan has already been drawn up, he insisted that one must be very careful and disciplined to prevent the development leading to poor results in the region.

“Any city in the world feels lucky to have an investment like Tesla; however, there are many challenges to address with an investment like this. We are sometimes victims of our own success and sometimes we are also victims of world politics. This policy promoted by the United States: 'nearshoring' (relocation of chains) that pushes these global companies to come and settle in Mexico or install part of their manufacturing chain in Mexico," Nava said.

According to Samuel García, governor of Nuevo León, the initial investment would be around $5 billion, and it is expected that between 35,000 and 40,000 formal jobs will be generated.

Tesla is also one of many different companies to have recently arrived in Santa Catarina, such as Vertiv, dedicated to the manufacture of storage technology; Noah Itech, which produces automation equipment; and Automotive Components Internacional (IAC), an automotive plastics maquiladora.


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