The auto industry is changing, a lot is possible. It is common knowledge that Tesla is looking for a European location for a complete production. In addition to locations in Germany, France, the Netherlands and Portugal, Trollhättan is also under discussion - and with it the former Saab plant.
Tesla production in Trollhättan. Swedish wishful thinking?
The contacts to Tesla were first made in early summer 2016. According to Sveriges Radio are both Business Sweden as well as the federation of the auto industry FKG participated in the discussions. You see a tough competition for Tesla, but also big chances.
The infrastructure in southern Sweden is consistent, the way to the largest European markets is short. On site in Trollhättan there is a lot of experience in the automotive industry and a functioning network of suppliers. The Swedish auto industry in 2017 is a success story thanks to foreign investment. Why an auto plant, which is unused for years in the meadow, so do not want to fit.
Of course, wishful thinking is part of the tough competition for a possible Tesla location. But an existing factory could be a trump card in the race for winning, even if it had to be refurbished and modernized. In the immediate vicinity is the research and development center of NEVS with wind tunnel, laboratories and test track. In addition, Trollhättan is a research and innovation focus of the auto industry.
In recent years, NEVS has repeatedly expressed interest in custom production. There were discussions with various companies, including Tesla. To an order it did not come out so far. NEVS Industrial Services (NIS) is working on a reboot and has secured the support of an experienced Valmet Automotive Manager. Valmet Automotiv, formerly Saab Valmet, also works for German brands as a contract manufacturer.
Tesla and NEVS in direct competition?
What could speak against a Tesla production in the former Saab plant, is the model planning of NEVS. The vehicles announced from 2020 could be placed in the same price and market segment as the upcoming Tesla 3 model. Both companies are in direct competition with each other, which would make a joint production at least questionable.
There would be the possibility that NEVS would lease the plant for a longer period of time or sell it in full. For NEVS, Trollhättan would in future be a pure research and development location, as is the case with CEVT in Gothenburg and the new Lynk & Co brand. However, this is pure speculation, for which there is no evidence.
Tesla has announced that it will make a decision within 2 years. For Trollhättan it would be hundreds of new jobs, and perhaps the location for a battery production facility. But that could also be of interest to NEVS.