Tesla has officially put on its cowboy boots.
The electric automaker has committed to opening its largest U.S. assembly plant on a 2,100-acre plot of land outside of Austin, Texas (just east of the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and 10 minutes from the Circuit of the Americas) where it plans to build its next production facility, aptly coined Gigafactory Texas. CEO Elon Musk confirmed the move during the company's Q2 earnings call today.
Gigafactory Texas will be responsible for producing the Cybertruck and Semi, as well as Model 3s and Model Ys destined for the eastern half of the United States.
Gigafactory 1, which is Tesla's original production facility in Fremont, California, will remain in operation as well. The plant will continue to produce the Model S and X, as well as the Model 3 and Y for the western half of the U.S.—yes, you read that right, the production of Tesla's two most affordable vehicles will be built in region-specific plants. Tesla will also manufacture the Next-Generation Roadster at Fremont as well.
Despite the plant being focused on building electric cars and trucks, Musk says that it will also have some amenities that the public can enjoy.
In fact, Musk called the automaker’s new facility “an ecological paradise”, noting that Tesla plans to add a boardwalk along the Colorado River, as well as a biking and hiking trail. Best of all, it will be open to the public.
Tesla will also seek to hire local talent to staff its plant with immediate plans are to hire up to 5,000 workers with an average salary of $47,147. Entry-level employees are slated to see an annual salary of at least $35,000, or nearly $17 per hour.
Oklahoma-based KOCO states that Tesla will receive more than $60 million in tax breaks from Travis County and local school districts. It’s not yet clear what state incentives Tesla may have been offered.
"Tesla is one of the most exciting and innovative companies in the world, and we are proud to welcome its team to the State of Texas,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
“Texas has the best workforce in the nation and we’ve built an economic environment that allows companies like Tesla to innovate and succeed. Tesla’s Gigafactory Texas will keep the Texas economy the strongest in the nation and will create thousands of jobs for hard-working Texans. I look forward to the tremendous benefits that Tesla's investment will bring to Central Texas and to the entire state."
The fight to house Tesla’s next production facility has been a long-running battle between two finalists: Austin, Texas and Tulsa, Oklahoma. Ultimately, Austin won the battle, but Tulsa still holds high-hopes of being an automotive manufacturing center.
"Over the past few months, Tulsans and Oklahomans as a whole showed the nation and the world that our state is worthy of being one of two finalists for an innovative, cutting-edge company like Tesla," wrote Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt in a news release. He later added: “We will be actively recruiting Tesla’s supplier base to Oklahoma as well as many other companies whose eyes have been opened to our state throughout this process."
"I wish Elon Musk and Tesla all the best. In fact, I wish them so much success they are forced to expand again, because I know just the place."
Musk thanked Tulsa for the opportunity to consider Oklahoma for its new home during Tesla’s quarterly earnings call.
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