Tesla lands on its Country Manager for Mexico as EV expansion takes focus

Tesla has named Teresa Gutièrrez Smith as the Country Manager for its EV offensive in Mexico as its new Gigafactory in Nuevo Leòn is moving closer to starting construction.

Gutièrrez Smith has more than 20 years of experience managing transnational companies like Mattel, Procter & Gamble, and Nestlè, and is expected to handle major portions of Tesla’s Mexico project, according to Wired.

She has a Chemical Engineering degree from the Universidad Iberoamericana and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Management from the Pan American Institute, located in Mexico City.

Mexico is a region that builds EVs, but very few people in the country drive them, as most units are exported to other countries. Ford operates production facilities in Mexico, and the Mustang Mach-E is built at its Cuautitlan Assembly Plant.

The report indicates that Gutièrrez Smith will be directly responsible for expanding Tesla’s brand in the Latin American region.

This will be a tall task as Latin America needs a substantial boost in EV ownership. A report from research firm Motor Intelligence stated that just 0.5 percent of the automotive sales in Mexico in 2022 were EVs.

Tesla Gigafactory Mexico

Tesla announced that it would build Gigafactory Mexico after landing on the location in early 2023, and landed approval through federal land use permits for the project in December.

Tesla Gigafactory Mexico will handle automotive production to supplement new vehicle model releases that the company has planned for the coming years. This includes the $25,000 EV that has been rumored for several years.

After initially planning to begin construction sometime last year, CEO Elon Musk pumped the brakes on building Gigafactory Mexico, as he detailed on the Q3 2023 Earnings Call:

“In Mexico, we’re laying the groundwork to begin construction and doing all the long lead items, but I think we want to just get a sense for the global economy is like before we go full tilt on the Mexico factory. I am worried about the high interest rate environment that we’re in.”

Local Impact

Tesla Gigafactory Mexico is expected to create a substantial number of jobs for the local economy, according to Jorge A. Moreno, a professor at the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León’s (UANL) Faculty of Economics.

A report from earlier this month noted that Moreno expects Gigafactory Mexico to create at least 5,000 to 6,000 jobs directly, with another 29,000 or 30,000 indirectly through suppliers and other needs.

Tesla Giga Mexico projected to result in job boom for Nuevo Leon

This would “give a total of more or less between 35,000 to 36,000 jobs,” Professor  Moreno said.

Tesla Lands Major Incentives

Tesla is expected to receive $153 million in incentives from Nuevo León due to its major contribution to job creation and economic stimulation.

Iván Rivas, State Secretary of Economy, commented on Tesla’s expected and anticipated contributions to Nuevo León:

“For example, the Nevada gigafactory generated an economic impact 28 times greater than public investment, while in California, 120 jobs were created in the supply chain for every 100 Tesla jobs. In this way, in Nuevo León, there would be 12,000 new direct jobs related to Tesla, almost 15% of the jobs created each year in the state.”

The first phase of Tesla Gigafactory Mexico is expected to entail a $4.5 billion investment. It will be a three-phase project.

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Tesla lands on its Country Manager for Mexico as EV expansion takes focus


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