Tesla founder Elon Musk has revealed he’s looking at building a factory for his EV cars in Russia.
The American firm’s CEO said they were close to establishing a presence in the country and had been exploring the chances of setting up production facilities there.
Addressing an event in Russia via video link on Friday, Tesla boss Musk said the company already had production sites in China and the United States, but was looking at opening new facilities in other parts of the world.
The announcement came just hours before sources claimed staff at some Chinese government offices have been told not to park their Tesla cars inside government compounds – due to security concerns over cameras installed on the vehicles.
It’s claimed officials at two government agencies in Beijing and Shanghai have been instructed to park their cars elsewhere.
While sensors and cameras that can assist driving feature in many automakers’ vehicles, it’s said the new restriction currently only applies to Tesla cars.
In March, Tesla vehicles were banned from entering some military complexes in China, citing security concerns over vehicle cameras.
The restriction provides a fresh indication of China’s continued wariness of the US electric carmaker amid tensions with Washington.
China, the world’s biggest car market, is the electric car maker’s second-biggest market, accounting for about 30% of its sales. Tesla now makes electric Model 3 sedans and Model Y sport-utility vehicles in a Shanghai plant.
Automakers like Tesla have been equipping more vehicles with cameras and sensors that capture images of a car’s surroundings. Control of how those images are used and where they are sent and stored is a fast-emerging challenge for the industry and regulators around the world.
Reporting by Reuters