A Tesla Gigafactory in France? Speculation swirls before Elon Musk heads to Paris



Elon Musk heads to France.
Clive Mason – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Image
  • Elon Musk recently met with the French president.
  • The tech billionaire has said Tesla is hoping to make a major investment in the country. 
  • That’s sparked speculation about the company building a Gigafactory there. 

On Elon Musk’s long to-do list, there are two tasks that stand out.

  • At Tesla, he’s trying to ramp up production massively over the next decade.
  • At Twitter, the billionaire has to somehow get advertising revenue to start growing.

Next week, Musk has a chance to tackle both.

He’s attending the Vivatech conference in Paris, where he’ll speak with Maurice Lévy, chairman of Publicis, one of the world’s largest advertising agencies. This will give Musk a chance to pitch Twitter, and its new CEO Linda Yaccarino, to the ad industry. 

Twitter’s ad business is in dire shape. The platform’s revenue from April 1 to the first week of May was $88 million, down 59% compared to the same time last year, according to internal documents obtained by The New York Times. The same document outlined that Twitter routinely fell short of its weekly US sales projections, the Times reported.

Last year, after Musk acquired Twitter, some of the largest ad agencies advised clients to pause marketing on the platform over brand risk concerns. The industry’s position is beginning to soften now though, with WPP’s GroupM taking Twitter off its “high risk” list. 

Musk getting on stage with the chairman of Publicis at Vivatech should help Twitter’s cause here, unless the tech billionaire says the wrong thing. Not like that has ever happened before!

Musk’s presence at France’s top tech conference could also help Tesla. The company is scouting the world for its next Gigafactories, and that involves a lot of diplomacy and negotiation. In May, Musk met with French President Emmanuel Macron. After that gathering, Musk said Tesla was looking to make a significant investment in the country. 

That started speculation about Tesla putting a Gigafactory in France, which has a long history of auto production with Renault and Peugeot. Tesla already has a factory in Germany that’s producing 5,000 vehicles a week. 

By the way, Insider advertising reporter Lara O’Reilly will be at Vivatech too next week. You can reach out to her via email: loreilly@insider.com

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