PARIS -- President Emmanuel Macron met Tesla CEO Elon Musk other business chiefs on Monday to urge them to invest into France, and his office said the country was poised to win record foreign investment pledges
Musk, who also had lunch with Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, said he was confident Tesla would make "significant investments" in France in the future, without giving a timetable.
"No announcement today but I am very impressed with President Macron and the French government and how welcoming they are," he told reporters.
The French government said the meeting covered several topics of common interest, notably the European response to the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the progress France has made in attracting investment and improving the outlook for electric vehicles and energy.
Le Maire also pitched to Musk new tax credits for investments in green technology made public last week.
Musk was in Paris for Macron's annual "Choose France" Business summit at the opulent Versailles Palace near Paris. Over the last five years, Macron has invited top CEOs to Versailles to try to secure billions in foreign investments.
France previously tried to convince Musk to build a European gigafactory in the country, but he chose Germany for his only European gigafactory so far.
Asked whether France was trying to convince Musk to build a gigafactory in France, Le Maire said he would rather keep the content of their negotiations secret in a context of cut-throat competition between rival blocs.
"It's a battle where no one is doing anybody any favor," he said.
Tesla's German plant near Berlin began delivering cars in March 2022 and produces around 5,000 Model Y vehicles a week, with a maximum capacity of 500,000 cars per year.
But although it has begun assembling batteries in Germany, Tesla has said it will focus cell production in the U.S. in light of IRA incentives, making it one of the first companies to declare a strategy shift prompted by the package.
To counter that, Macron said last week France's existing cash incentive of up to 5,000 euros for buyers of new electric cars would be made conditional on their producers meeting tough low-carbon standards, effectively excluding cars made outside Europe.
France so far expects a total of 28 investment projects from companies ranging from U.S. pharmaceutical group Pfizer to Swedish furniture maker IKEA and investment bank Morgan Stanley. In total, the projects are expected to create 8,000 jobs.
The single biggest investment is a 5.2 billion-euro project from Taiwanese battery maker Prologium in Dunkirk, which Macron announced on Friday. It is followed by a 1.5 billion euro battery components plant, also in Dunkirk, in a joint venture between Chinese group XTC and French firm Orano.