Musk on the Hunt for Central U.S. Plant
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.
Scouting locations for Cybertruck Gigafactory. Will be central USA.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 11, 2020
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.