Elon Musk speaks at Tesla’s 2023 Investor Day on March 1.


Tesla Incs planned plant in Mexico’s northern border state of Nuevo Leon will be built on a site spanning several thousand hectares, nearly twice the size of its Texas plant, with construction starting in three months, a Mexican official said Thursday.

Jesus Nava, mayor of Santa Catarina in the state of Nuevo Leon, said in an interview that Tesla is buying the site from private owners. He said the land spans nearly 4,200 hectares in an industrial zone, more than twice the size of Mexico City’s international airport.

Tesla’s factory in Austin, Texas — one of three existing Tesla vehicle factories — sits on 2,500 acres, according to Tesla’s website.

The new Tesla South Austin showroom inside the Yard development in Austin, Texas, United States, on Saturday, October 16, 2021.

Mark Felix | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Nava said Tesla will reveal which vehicles it will make at the Nuevo Leon plant when it breaks ground, which it plans to do in three months.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the project on Wednesday, a day after Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tesla would build an assembly factory in northern Mexico. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Nava’s comments on Thursday.

Tesla will initially spend about $5 billion and hire about 5,000 people, but will ultimately invest a total of $10 billion in the project with up to 10,000 workers, Nava added.

“This will provide a large economic spread,” Nava said, noting that automotive suppliers have already expanded their presence in the area, which has plenty of industrial space.

Mexico’s government has said the facility will be the world’s largest electric vehicle factory.

The location in the Santa Catarina municipality near Monterrey, one of Mexico’s largest cities, will produce just a few hours south of the US-Mexico border.

A senior Mexican official has said the “gigafactory” will produce about 1 million vehicles a year, which would represent a third of Tesla’s global capacity.

Nava said the long-speculated deal in Nuevo Leon state had never been in danger of falling through, even when Lopez Obrador had said he would withhold permits if not enough water was available in the arid region, which last year was hit by a severe drought.

“It was never at risk … it added an extra factor for managers when making a decision,” Nava said.

Tesla uses recycled water, and such companies typically use minimal gallons of water per second, he added.