Two of Tesla’s Chinese suppliers have announced plans to invest US$1 billion to build new plants in Nuevo León of northern Mexico, sending the global investor community into a frenzy.
The planned investments include a US$700 million factory owned by Ningbo-based car parts maker Tuopu Group (拓普集团) and a US$260 million plant belonging to Shanghai-headquartered Lidar giant Hesai Technologies (禾赛科技), according to Samuel Garcia, governor of Nuevo León.
Garcia believes that Tuopu Group will generate 10,000 jobs for Mexico while Hesai is poised to create another 4,000, local media reported.
The overseas plants to be built and run by the two Chinese firms are responsible for supplying to Tesla with lidars and actuators.
Notably, Tuopu’s expansion into Mexico is widely interpreted as a move into humanoid robotics as actuators are used in Tesla’s iconic bipedal robot Optimus.
Tuopu and Hesai declined to comment.
The company, which used to make suspension, chassis, cockpit and other components for EVs, has emerged as one of the core suppliers of actuators to Tesla’s humanoid program.
Securities brokerage analysts have confirmed that 26 actuators inside Optimus are all provided by Tuopu, with an average selling price 50,000 yuan to 60,000 yuan.
Supplying to Tesla
Earlier in March, the company revealed that it hopes to derive a new source of overseas revenue on the back of supplying to Tesla, following an announcement in September 2022 indicating its intention to invest in Mexico.
News broke earlier that to satisfy client demand, Tuopu needs to complete the assembly and configuration of four production lines with an annual capacity of 100,000 units of its actuator.
Going forward, the firm is expected to boost its capacity to 1 million units.
Tuopu already has four production lines capable of churning out 100,000 units of actuator under construction. They are due for completion within three months.
Nonetheless, Tesla reportedly expected to hit a monthly output of 5,000 units. To meet its demand, Tuopu decided it would have to set up shop in Mexico, media reported.