lon Musk is the kind of person who seems to do whatever he wants, no matter how crazy his idea is. From Paypal, their fortunes are on the rise with projects that increasingly seem like something out of a science fiction story: boring companies to connect cities more efficiently, reusable space rockets, autonomous cars.
Musk’s style is aggressive and confrontational. In order to achieve his goals, he aligns himself with God or the devil. He is not afraid to approach Donald Trump or provoke (like Trump) to social media with tweets that directly affects the stock price of his own company.
It seems like nothing can stop Musk. However, there is a country that has told you that you cannot do it on more than one occasion: Mexico.
Musk’s relationship with Mexico
So far, there is no plan by Elon Musk to establish a Tesla factory in Mexico, although the governor of Guanajuato mentioned that possibility on one occasion. In addition to factories in California, this electric car company has factories in the Netherlands, Germany, China, the UK, and Texas. Brazil wanted to convince Musk to open a Giga Factory in South America.
Among the emerging markets of Latin America, Mexico and Brazil have historically attracted car manufacturers. However, it seems that Elon Musk prefers to be close to the markets of more developed countries. The problem is not a lack of talent. Musk has been hiring Mexicans for his plant in California. Hence the only Giga Factory in an emerging market is China.
Teslaquila, the brand that Mexico denied it to Musk
That Musk is not interested in setting up a factory in Mexico does not mean that he has no plans to do business in the country. The joke of turning Tesla into a Tequila brand is about to come true and, due to its denomination of origin, tequila must be produced in Mexico.
Nosotros Tequila is the company that will be in charge of the production of the tequila that will bear the Tesla name. However, Musk’s whim of calling it “Teslatequila” could not be fulfilled because Mexico rejected the name on more than one occasion. The Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT) objected that the name was too evocative of the word tequila and that it could create confusion. The company did not give up easily. First, he appealed the decision and then tried to register the trademark in the United States, which was again rejected because the CRT has the last word anyway.
Musk got a happy ending by quickly selling out all the quirky Tesla-brand tequila bottles, which were sold for $ 250. But it wasn’t the same ending with Nemak, the Mexican company that refused to supply Elon Musk.
Nemak: the company that didn’t want to sell to Elon Musk
In 2016, Tesla approached Nemak to become a direct supplier of its lightweight aluminum components for the Model 3. Tesla wanted to produce 500,000 vehicles in 2018, but Nemak considered the figure to be excessive, so it avoided any compromises.
Armando Tamez explained Nemak’s decision for El Financiero: the project was high risk. Nemak is an innovative Mexican company, but also conservative in its growth plans. Tamez was surprised by the design of Tesla’s battery but noted how difficult it was to make. The production and pricing targets were unrealistic.
Tamez said he did not regret the decision. Consider that Tesla is only one part of the auto industry and that Nemak is well-positioned not only in the electric car market but in the automotive sector in general. The director of the company presumes that one of every four cars sold in the world has a part manufactured by Nemak.