By on March 11, 2020

It sounds like Texas may no longer be in the running for a potential Gigafactory. Earlier this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk implied, via tweet, a desire for the Lone Star State as the locale for his next domestic assembly plant.

He’s now searching states with smaller belt buckles.

The future plant would handle production of Tesla’s ridiculous Cybertruck, as well as satisfy East Coast demand for the Model Y crossover — a model already in production in Fremont, California. Deliveries of that model should commence by the end of the month.

Too north a latitude, and Musk could face greater pressure from a long-standing foe: the United Auto Workers. It’s the plant’s workers who’ll ultimately decide whether or not to organize, of course. Workers drawn to Tesla’s world-saving ethos might prove more receptive to the allure of labor unions than those working for foreign automakers largely grouped in the U.S. Southeast.

Thus far, line workers at Fremont have failed in their efforts to organize.

As Musk hunts for a plant site, state officials will surely do their best to woo the automaker with tax incentives and cheap land, something Musk is no doubt counting on to lower costs. Responses to his tweet showed interest in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Joplin, Missouri. Despite Musk’s prolific use of the social media platform, real offers will surely roll in via traditional channels.

Whatever state Musk — and his plant — lands in, the decision can’t wait forever. Cybertruck comes with a tentative launch date of late 2021.

[Image: Tesla]

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44 Comments on “Musk on the Hunt for Central U.S. Plant...”


  • avatar
    CaddyDaddy

    ……Elon will go to where he always goes. To the .gov that will throw the most money at his feet. Once established, he will sell the factory in Fremont to R/E developers and life will go on. He will come out like a rockstar.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Please explain the .gov money that Tesla has directly received.

      Tax breaks for all EV buyers – yes.

      Tax breaks for all new car factories – yes.

      Toyota/Mazda: https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-alabama-plant/toyota-mazda-confirm-1-6-billion-plant-for-alabama-idUSL1N1P51H1

      Regarding Toyota: “Alabama is providing tax incentives, the total of which was not immediately known. A person briefed on the matter said it was expected to be close to $1 billion over several years.”

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Also the gov’s GHG credit trading scheme which has created billions in value for Tesla.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          That ‘scheme’ is, I believe, a CARB credit, not a Federal one. It may have earned Tesla $Billions but only in those states that signed onto CARB’s policies. As for Europe, that’s a horse of another color where Tesla again gains an advantage, though perhaps less of one due to the number of automakers trying to directly compete with Tesla. The $2B that FCA pledged to Tesla is based on an estimate of EU sales and the amount needed to balance the EU penalties for not electrifying more quickly. FCA’s tie-in to Peugeot (PUGOY) may cancel some of that out.

          • 0 avatar
            Lokki

            Here’s some reading on the subject:

            https://realmoney.thestreet.com/investing/stocks/tesla-s-main-product-isn-t-cars-it-s-subsidies-14769263

            Tesla’s Main Product Isn’t Cars, It’s Subsidies

            Tesla received $713 million in U.S. subsidies in Q3, compared to its $312 million profit.

            And this:
            https://mises.org/wire/elon-muskss-taxpayer-funded-gravy-train

      • 0 avatar
        incautious

        lol seriously giggle 2 cost the NY taxpayers 950 MILLION and is a complete boondoggle. Oh let’s not forget the “american” company tesla has ONLY 50% domestic content. Toyota 75% domestic content. So toyota in MORE American than tesla.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        @SCE to aux…much of that money claimed in “Subsidies” is not tax breaks to Toyota in the case of the Alabama plant…It is upgrades to the Port of Mobile. Alabama agreed to do it in order to make Huntsville more enticing to Toyota, but the side benefit is that it should draw other companies to the state. I am local and have been following it.

      • 0 avatar
        MRF 95 T-Bird

        When the Mercedes Benz factory was built in Alabama in the 90’s for the ML class there was over a billion dollars in incentives. Apparently folks would joke about the number of elected officials and business professionals driving new ML’s.

    • 0 avatar
      SlowMyke

      “Elon will go to where he always goes”

      Please, every CEO looking to develop a new factory or office location ever does the exact same thing. Recall the Amazon nonsense that happened a few years ago that had 15-20 states tripping over themselves to throw as much money as possible at Bezos. Ever Asian EV vaporware startup immediately secures many millions of dollars in tax breaks and loans to pretend like they’re a legitimate going concern in some state or another. Every national league sports team gets a publicly funded state of the art stadium every other decade now…

      You don’t have to agree with the practice, but it’s pretty trite to paint this as move unique to Musk and Tesla.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Frankly it’s only fair to help subsidize the coal industry after 8 years of atrocious behavior on those good men and woman. I haven’t seen the federal government conspire to destroy Tesla like the previous admin did to the coal industry.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          ” the previous admin did to the coal industry.”

          I read that a couple more coal companies went bankrupt recently, citing their inability to financially bounce back after having lost their workers let go during the last admin.

          My grand daughter is a mining engineer in AZ and there is nothing wrong with the money they pay mining employees, and certainly a whole hell of a lot more than what they pay auto workers.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            Coal companies going out of business have very little to do with any administration, and everything to do with a fracking boom causing cheap natural gas that outcompetes coal on every level.

            Coal power is no longer competitive in this country, which is a very good thing. I wonder how many loud mouths in right wing media mourning its demise have been up close and personal with the coal burning process like I have.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Coal is a major export to nations who still use coal for its many uses.

            In the US the use of coal has been decimated because of mandates and regulations of the last administration.

            During the current administration coal can still serve as a major export commodity, and ring the cash register at the US Treasury.

            At least until the next ‘crat administration.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            15% of produced coal is exported, some $4 billion.

            That is barely 1/10 of 1% of US exports.

            https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/coal/imports-and-exports.php

            Not nearly enough to save it. The free market has spoken and coal is dying. Has nothing to do with Republicans or Democrats in reality, but that won’t stop right-wingers from whinging on TV about a “Democrat war on coal” as if their other buddies in the fracking industry aren’t 100% responsible.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “Not nearly enough to save it.”

            That’s true.

            It has been long known and widely accepted that the war on coal has damaged coal production beyond repair, in the US.

            Where the loser of the last General Election was on a crusade to eradicate coal production in the US, President Trump bought the coal producers in the US some time, and make money on the remaining coal exports.

            Other coal producing nations have not reduced coal production or use and benefit financially as coal exporters to coal-using nations.

            Coal is not going away around the globe, but it will see a significant reduction in the US, when the next ‘crat occupies the White House.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Did somebody say taxpayer subsidies?

      https://www.technologyreview.com/f/615344/trump-is-considering-a-fossil-fuel-bailout-amid-coronavirus-worries/

      https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/news/2018/02/15/446678/trump-budget-full-giveaways-coal-oil-companies/

  • avatar
    JimZ

    well, those belt buckles do scratch the cars…

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    That thing in the picture – does it have solid axles? Locking hubs?

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Not coming to Texas because of franchise laws?

  • avatar
    0Gravity

    I just don’t understand how a savvy company like Tesla with a track record of designing beautiful vehicles would bring to market such a hideous vehicle in the Cybertruck

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      What appears “hideous” to some, appears unique and cool to others.

      I think Kim Kardashian’s “junk in the trunk” is disgusting, while other men think it dead sexy…and women worldwide seek to emulate it. Same with Cybertruck. Before long, you will likely see some other OEMs adopt some similar design cues.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I might remind you that according to some reports, there are already hundreds of thousands (yes, plural hundreds of thousands) of reservations for this truck, though that hasn’t been as broadly ‘hyped’ since it receives such negative commentary. Many thousands of those are supposedly coming from Texas, since it will be the biggest non-CDL pickup on the market.

      Now, how many actually get purchased there…?

    • 0 avatar
      dividebytube

      Let’s just call it polarizing.

      Kudos for Tesla for doing something _very_ different: making something you would see in Bladerunner. I have a hard time imagining myself in one – not that I like to spend that kind of $$ on a vehicle.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Is it feasible for this to make it to production when promised if they have yet to select a plant site, let alone begin building it? Are they going to do early models somewhere else or can you actually get a plant up that quickly?

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    @Art Vandelay: We’ve already seen that they CAN get one up that quickly; all it takes is good project management and a policy of serial construction… having each crew start at one end and work towards the other. As each completes a section, the next crew can start on that section. That’s how the China plant went up.

  • avatar
    redapple

    tesla is sheet.

  • avatar
    65corvair

    After reading the article, I should be commenting on that. I can’t. All I can say is that is a butt ugly truck. I just cannot understand how any company can make anything so awful.

  • avatar
    StudeDude

    Maybe Elon could use the old GM plant in Shreveport since Paul Elio probably won’t be using it for anything.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Musk would be looking for incentives and Louisiana is not known for offering incentives these days.

      Bobby Jindal was very pro-business but the current gov is a Democrat, raised their taxes and increased restrictions on industry, especially the oil industry.

      No reason to think that Musk would want to shake that hornet’s nest.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Considering that Tesla is working for the same goals as the current governor, I wouldn’t be surprised if Louisiana did try to throw a carrot his way.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          “if Louisiana did try to throw a carrot his way.”

          Perhaps.

          We live in strange and uncertain times these days and I didn’t know that “Tesla is working for the same goals as the current governor.”

          I had the impression that Elon Musk and all his ventures had only one thing in mind, the self-centered betterment of Elon Musk.

          And, generally, that has been a good thing for many who hitched a ride along the way.

  • avatar
    lstanley

    Allow me to go out on a limb and say this won’t be in MN.

    I wonder what a town like Wichita would do to get the Cyberfactory. Or a town south of Chicago proper?

  • avatar
    cprescott

    There are plenty of landfills where you can build your garbage truck.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Musk could always build a plant in Mexico. Cheaper labor and costs and I am sure Mexico could come up with some incentives.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Bring it to Huntsville, AL. Cheap labor, educated populace, good schools, and the infrastructure to ship cars is in place with Toyota opening here.

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