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Bolsonaro wants Tesla to build plant in Brazil

21 February 2020, MVT 22:01
Enterpreneur Elon Musk, here in a modified Tesla electric vehicle at his Boring Company's California test site in December 2018, expects the first commercial version of the people-moving tunnel to open in 2020 in Las Vegas. PHOTO: ROBYN BECK / AFP
21 February 2020, MVT 22:01

President Jair Bolsonaro said Friday he would try to convince electric carmaker Tesla to open a factory in Brazil when he heads to the United States next month.

Bolsonaro, who will visit Miami and Dallas on March 9 and 10, said on Twitter that "our extensive agenda will include the possibility of bringing Tesla to Brazil."

Brazil, the world's seventh-largest carmaker, is a fast-growing market for electric cars.

Sales of electric and hybrid vehicles nearly tripled last year, to 11,844 -- a fraction of the more than 700,000 sold the year before in the United States, where Tesla is based.

Bolsonaro's far-right government has recently made a series of overtures to Tesla.

The president's son, lawmaker Eduardo Bolsonaro, said Thursday he had met with the deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in Brasilia, William Popp, on bringing a Tesla plant to Brazil.

Science and Technology Minister Marcos Pontes also met February 12 with a Tesla representative, according to his official agenda.

Outside the United States, Tesla currently has one plant in Shanghai and is building another in Germany, scheduled to open in 2021.

The company sold 367,000 vehicles last year, up 50 percent from 2018.

Sao Paulo, Brazil | AFP

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