SpaceX, Twitter and electric car maker Tesla CEO Elon Musk with French President Emmanuel Macron (L) at the presidential Elysee Palace in Paris on May 15, 2023. France was looking to lure Musk and Tesla to set up a factory in the country.

Michel Euler | AFP | Getty Images

PARIS – France is trying to convince Elon Musk to build Tesla The country’s digital minister told CNBC on Wednesday, in his most blunt comment yet, that Paris wants the billionaire’s investment.

This flirtation comes at a time when the minister has threatened Musk’s Twitter with a ban, if it does not comply with the upcoming European Union regulations.

“It would be great to have a Tesla factory in France,” Jean-Noel Barrot told CNBC’s Charlotte Reid at the Viva Tech conference in Paris.

France was Looking to consolidate its position as a hub for the electric vehicle industry, it opened its first electric vehicle battery factory this year.

“We’ve also invested in … a whole electric battery sector, so we’re going to try to convince him that France is the best possible place in Europe for the next Tesla factory,” Parrott said.

Musk is expected to speak in Paris on Friday at the Viva Tech Summit – one of France’s leading technology conferences, where the government will have a large presence. Musk was looking for a new location for the gigafactory, in addition to the automaker’s already existing major factories in the United States, Germany and China.

Barrow praised Musk as “a great inventor, perhaps one of the greatest at the beginning of this century.”

Musk’s Twitter may face a ban from the European Union

Barrow’s attempt to woo Tesla contrasted sharply with his fiery words to the billionaire regarding Twitter.

The minister said last month that the social media app would be banned in the EU, if it did not follow the Union’s upcoming Digital Services Act that comes into effect in August. The law would force tech giants, including Twitter, to police illegal content and misinformation on their platforms more aggressively, or risk potential billions of dollars in fines.

“There will be significant scrutiny by the EU Commission…of the actions that Twitter will take to meet these new obligations. If Twitter fails to comply with these obligations, Twitter will face penalties of up to 6% of global sales…if these are not rectified.” Failures to comply, they will face an obligation to leave the EU.”

“In the past two weeks, what we’ve seen is not reassuring in terms of Twitter’s ability to comply with these new rules,” Barrow added, without specifying which aspects of Twitter’s policy are not reassuring.


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