As Tesla prepares to take over the world, it is finding it has a critical shortage of mechanical engineers, people it will need to meet its goal of building a million cars a year or more by 2020. With production of the mass market Model 3 set to begin in just a few months, it has turned its attention to Mexico, a country with a deep pool of engineering talent, thanks to the many auto manufacturing plants built there since the NAFTA trade treaty went into effect more than 20 years ago.
Recently, David Johnson, Tesla’s senior technical recruiter, published a recruiting poster on LinkedIn that listed 15 different types of engineers the company was interested in hiring and announcing a job fair in the industrial city of Monterrey over the weekend. That poster got picked up by the media in Mexico and led to a wave of people who journeyed to Monterrey from as far away Mexico City — 600 miles away.
What the poster didn’t make clear and what the media failed to report was that this was a closed door event designed primarily to interview candidates who had already applied for positions online. Things got a bit disorganized as hundreds of people descended on the city anxious for a chance to get a job with Tesla.
“Tesla is an innovative company, it’s offering the future of mobility,” said one engineer. Nadia Marrufo, a chemical engineer specializing in industrial processes told Reuters, “It’s a project that has a big future, These are the cars of the new era.”
Tesla’s recruitment drive in Mexico could face strong opposition from the Trump administration. Last week, the putative president signed an executive order designed to make it harder for foreign nationals to obtain an H1B visa, a special category of visa reserved for those with advanced technical skills — like the engineers in Monterrey last weekend.
Trump has had nothing but nasty things to say about Mexicans, saying repeatedly during his campaign that they are all murderers and rapists. He has also raged repeatedly about his plans to build “a wall, a beautiful wall” along the entire 2,200 mile long border with Mexico.
The Trump plan is designed to insure that qualified American workers are not priced out of the market by foreigners who are willing to work for less money. The fact that Tesla is unable to find enough qualified American workers for its factory in Fremont, California pretty much shows those concerns are spurious.
Source: Automotive News