Tesla Motors has indirectly confirmed a Model 3 supply deal with an undisclosed South Korean company.
Korea Herald is reporting that Tesla slapped a "major Seoul-based supplier" with a $1 million fine for breaching a non-disclosure agreement. This confirms that an agreement was signed and that Tesla is unhappy with the leak from the South Korean supplier.
Although it's unclear which supplier has been fined, our guess would be that it's Mando, a supplier of suspension, steering and brake systems based in Seoul, South Korea, or even steelmaker POSCO also based in South Korea.
Tesla previously denied any connection to Mando in relation to the Model 3, but we do know that Mando already supplies some components for the Model S, so the tie is already there, while POSCO also found itself in the news connected to the Model 3, although it denied making any contracts surrounding that vehicle.
Korea Herald states that other Korean suppliers had their wrists slapped by Tesla in the form of a verbal warning:
"Just recently, a major Seoul-based supplier was slapped with a US$1 million penalty by Tesla for breach of a non-disclosure agreement, while several others received verbal warnings for revealing information to the media here about a possible deal."
Why the leaks? Well, the South Korean suppliers are eager to get their name out there by tying up with Tesla, but the electric automaker isn't so keen on the world knowing what's going on prior to an official announcement.
Source: Korea Herald