Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has refuted recent reports suggesting discussions between Tesla and Saudi Arabia about the establishment of a factory in the Gulf nation, characterizing the claims as “utterly false.”
The Wall Street Journal had reported on Monday, citing anonymous sources, that Tesla was in preliminary talks with Saudi officials regarding the potential construction of a manufacturing facility in Saudi Arabia.
Taking to the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), Musk expressed his disbelief in the report. “Yet another utterly false article from WSJ,” he stated in a tweet, accompanied by a screenshot of the article's headline.
Yet another utterly false article from WSJ pic.twitter.com/sisFcxYKxI
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 18, 2023
Saudi Arabia has been actively working to diversify its economy, aiming to reduce its reliance on oil. To achieve this goal, the country has been forging agreements with foreign automakers to collaborate on various development initiatives.
However, Riyadh has encountered resistance from potential international business partners, partly attributable to concerns about the country's human rights record.
X has faced allegations of cooperating with the Saudi government in suppressing dissent, including claims that it permitted Saudi government agents to infiltrate the platform, sharing insider information used to identify and penalize critics of the government.
Notably, the report about Tesla's discussions with Saudi Arabia came shortly after Elon Musk's meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. During their meeting, the two leaders discussed the possibility of establishing a Tesla car manufacturing facility in Turkey, reflecting ongoing global efforts to expand the electric vehicle industry.