Long before Tesla was able to secure the huge site that will become its Giga Mexico electric car factory, it was set to be a Six Flags amusement park. The land is located in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, in the city of Santa Catarina, which is near Monterrey.
According to Teslarati, it was way back in 2015 that John Odum, Six Flags Senior VP of International Operations, headed to Mexico to meet with government officials about plans for an upcoming amusement park in the country. Six Flag already had a Mexico City location, but the area that will soon be Tesla’s newest factory was the perfect spot for another park.
Reports suggest that Six Flags aimed to spend about $400 million on the amusement park, which would take about three years to build. It would need significant access to many resources in the area, including water, electricity, gas, and various public services, which makes sense considering the scale of the project.
After a few years past, there wasn’t much talk about the Six Flags park near Monterrey. However, in 2017, the area’s Mayor Héctor Castillo Olivares shared that the company was still interested in purchasing the land and building the amusement park, but it was up against some licensing issues. For this reason, Six Flags was reportedly considering other locations.
With plans up in the air, the plot of land simply remained vacant for many years. However, in October of 2022, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was flown over the area by helicopter. He was interested, and Tesla eventually moved forward, but there were concerns from Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador about the water supply in the area. Like Six Flags, Tesla would need an abundance of resources for the site to be successful.
Teslarati writes that the Mexican President could have shot down Tesla’s plans simply due to a potential water supply shortage in the area. The official shared:
“If there’s water, no. Simply put, we don’t give out permits for that. It’s not feasible.”
That said, Tesla has been up against similar, if not much more pressing, concerns at its factory site near Berlin, Germany. The company has resorted to processing and reusing water on its own rather than consuming more fresh water, and it stands to continue doing so even while the factory ramps up and expands. Perhaps it will need to follow a similar path in Mexico in the future.
Clearly, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has given Tesla’s factory project his blessing, and construction is set to begin soon. Depending on how the construction progresses, the EV maker could be producing next-gen cars at the factory in 2024.