Elon Musk, known for his loud statements on Twitter, recently blew up the Russian information space, allowing the creation of a plant for the production of Tesla electric vehicles in the Russian Federation.
A few minutes after the statement of the head of the Russian regions, they began to offer sites and compete in the comfort of conditions for such an important investor: the Kaluga auto cluster, the Moscow region, Moscow, Udmurtia, Kaliningrad … support measures for local producers ”. “They forgot to say – at the expense of foreign ones,” my industry interlocutors joke sadly. Elon Musk, however, did not respond to this tweet.
Seriously though, Elon Musk’s statement hardly has any real basis. My sources say that otherwise there would be at least some rumors of negotiations in the industry. But the main thing is that Elon Musk hardly understands what market he is talking about: even ignoring the negligible volumes of sales of electric vehicles in the Russian Federation and the lack of infrastructure, the main problem is government regulation.
Tesla, tied to suppliers from around the world, is unlikely to fit into the logic of the 719th localization decree. “The regions are really capable of providing the most favorable conditions. But in order to make the product competitive compared to imports, the company will have to fulfill all the requirements for points at the federal level. This presupposes the localization of the most critical technologies, ”emphasizes one of my interlocutors.
Tesla now has a battery plant in China, in addition to the United States, and will soon launch a site in the cradle of the European car industry – Germany. These are developed markets, where significant volumes of electric vehicles are already being sold, including through preferences for car owners. Russia does not yet have a coordinated environmental policy, and almost abstract discussions about it are not related to industrial policy.
Of course, it cannot be ruled out that Tesla will not require mandatory localization just for the sake of a big name, and the project itself will be aimed at exporting to Europe. For example, in Kaliningrad, you can create an alternative to Germany site for the European market, putting budget models on the conveyor, and benefit from the cost of labor. In addition, Russia has potentially cheap raw materials, and Tesla, with its competencies, could use them to produce batteries. And for Russia, Tesla is an excellent image project.
Indeed, Russian industrial policy and Elon Musk’s tweets sometimes evoke similar sensations of pseudoscientific fiction in an unprepared recipient. But so far, unfortunately, this is the only thing that brings them together.