By on April 14, 2020

A Missouri city is making a direct pitch to Tesla in the hopes of landing an assembly plant. The electric automaker is on the hunt for a new domestic manufacturing site in which to build its ridiculous-looking Cybertruck, and since Texas seems to be off the table, other states feel they’ve got a good shot.

Naturally, the city of Joplin isn’t coming to the table empty handed.

As reported by the Joplin Globe, the city’s council has cobbled together a $1 billion incentive package to lure Tesla into its grasp. Backing the formal bid is both the city and the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, which has identified a parcel of land measuring a mile by two miles on which to situate the plant.

The site was chosen due to its proximity to freight lines, two interstates, a power plant, and a regional airport. It would be sold to Tesla at a 50-percent discount, with a 100-percent, 12-year tax break serving as a sweetener. Various state and local incentives make up the rest of the package.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted on March 11th that he was scouring the country, looking for suitable factory sites. Specifically, Musk said he wants a locale in the central U.S., which seems to describe Missouri fairly well.

With visions of 7,000 (eventual) jobs coming to town, the chamber of commerce was quick to point out the city’s skilled and engineer-heavy workforce, as well as the region’s plethora of trucking companies.

“That gives Tesla front-row access to its next market with four of the largest trucking companies in the nation within a 60-mile radius,” said Toby Teeter, president of the chamber.

The city of Joplin was devastated by an EF-5 tornado in 2011, resulting in 158 lost lives. While rebuilding efforts quickly got underway, town planners continued keeping an eye out for opportunities to bolster the area’s economy.

[Image: Tesla]

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39 Comments on “Joplin, MO to Tesla: Your Truck, Right Here...”


  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    “…with a 100-percent, 12-year tax break serving as a sweetener.”

    Oh yes…let the City and State’s other businesses and individuals pay for the infrastructure build out, cops, schools, and everything else required to support this sort of facility. Why can’t these companies just pay their share and yes, that includes legacy car makers, tech companies, gas companies and anyone else before any of the Tesla Lovers get in here with the “but muh petroleum subsidies”. Why have a tax code in the first place if not everyone has to follow it.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      We already know the answer: No politician wants to say no to jobs, so city, state, and provincial councils are happy to accommodate.

      I’m no fan of corporate welfare, but don’t forget that those 7000 workers pay taxes, too.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        The problem is those taxes still get paid, just as you pointed out it is by the employees. Those officials making the call no doubt get some nice gifts from these companies and stout campaign contributions.

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      I happen to be from Joplin, born and raised but left at the age of 20 and never returned. Still had relatives there until just a couple years ago and let me tell you, it is not an economically vibrant area. It had 40,000 people in 1980 and 50,000 today, which is very slow growth. What it does have going for it is very low cost of living and excellent transportation access.

      Giving tax credits to Tesla is easy, because the land they’re offering is currently offering negligible tax revenue anyway. Unless you’re some sort of credentialed professional, it’s very hard to make a living above the 50th percentile of US household income. Joplin is full of $8 and $9 an hour jobs in the service industry and if memory serves, the largest employers are hospitals, schools and Walmart. 7,000 jobs, especially if they’re paying $12-14 an hour at the base, would be an enormous kick-in-the-pants for Joplin and it’s economy.

      Unfortunately, Tesla will almost certainly want some place where they can attract millennials and Gen-Z recent college grads, and Joplin ain’t it.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      That infrastructure is paid for irregardless. Without those jobs they’ll have nothing. Even if Tesla pays zero taxes, their employees will. They will also use other local businesses, which will increase the tax revenue.

      • 0 avatar

        Exactly MBella. For B&B Tesla is an evil while they are experts in governing and economics.

        I wonder though why Texas is out. And why not California or shut down plants in UAW strongholds like Rust belt? Isn’t Musk the icon of “progressive” movement? Why not to choose “progressive” state?

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Additionally, 2.2 trillion and counting for Covid-19 and that is at the federal level only. Will the small businesses now struggling because these same government’s forced them to close get a sweetheart 12 year exemption? Or just another 1200 dollar here shut the heck up and go away check. No businesses or individuals should get these sort of deals unless everyone gets them. Build the plant on your own dime based on where it makes the most business sense to build it. Leave ordinary taxpayers out of things like this and sports stadiums…I don’t care if you are a fan of the company or not. Or quit hasseling me for my “fair share” every April. Laws are for all of us.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        That infrastructure doesn’t get built unless the plant gets built. Why should anyone, be they Tesla, Exxon-Mobile, or Donald Trump get to opt out of their fair share? Or is outrage saved for companies we dislike?

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        “Irregardless” is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord, and so is this vehicle.

  • avatar
    cprescott

    The Tesla Eyesore is the truck for idiots who would buy a Honduh Ridgeline but have more money than they know what to do with. I get it that Tesla wanted to be different, but there are reasons why trucks look like they do. And no one who knows about trucks would make anything that looks like this.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “but have more money than they know what to do with”

      It’s priced like all the high-end pickups, so I assume you feel that way about the buyers of F-350s and Sierra 3500s, which can easily run $60k to $80k.

      It’s actually not aimed at the Ridgeline buyer.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        Actually, the Cybertruck starts at $40k. Quad cab pickups start at $35k, but I’m not sure how their equipment matches up. They sell a version of the Model 3 for $35k as Edmunds just confirmed, so no surprise.

        Edmunds:
        youtube.com/watch?v=yXsBcpp5BKs&feature=youtu.be

        Also, most trucks are styled for fashion, not functionality. Those high front ends are just for styling and not for aerodynamics.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “Actually, the Cybertruck starts at $40k.”

          it does no such thing. it doesn’t exist yet, so you can’t pull a “well ACKCHYUALLY.”

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            ” it doesn’t exist yet, ”

            Well, true. I suppose I should have said they are saying it will start at $40k. It seems cheap to build (flat panels) and they don’t need to paint or need a paint shop (good when you have painting issues), so it should be doable. Especially if the new battery tech makes production.

    • 0 avatar
      Bill Wade

      Anybody that knows anything about trucks wouldn’t build a pickup where you need a step ladder to remove anything out of the bed. Isn’t it’s main purpose to carry things in the bed? Kind of pointless if you can’t reach any of it.

      Detroit has failed badly in this regard.

      • 0 avatar
        redapple

        Bill:

        Do your own poll. The average F250 driver is a smaller man than a F150 driver.
        PIG Up size compensates for the small stature and small pen iz.
        So, if you are a manufacturer. Make the PIG Up bigger and bigger with every revision. Increase your market share EVEN WHEN BIGGER SIZE DECREASES MPG.

        I miss the days when you could reach in the bed from the sidewall.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Paying full tax is for wage-earners. Everybody else gets a break, or cheats.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    FWIW, Joplin produced a pretty nice website to advertise themselves:

    https://www.choosejoplin.com/tesla#choose-joplin

  • avatar
    Ol Shel

    They’re not really going to go ahead with that, as is, are they? It’s unbelievably horrible. It makes me wonder who approved their previous designs.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    Despite of where it is built, I’ll give that Tesla truck one thing, it has the smartest tailgate ever put on a PU. Pretty sure I could easily drive my John Deere 316 garden tractor or Poo Assault Switchback 144 sled right into the back of that thing.

    GM, Ford, RAM ……. you paying attention?

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    If you believe for a split second that Tesla will actually build this abomination then you are either:
    A) Lying
    B) Stupid
    Take your pick.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      So, do you think:
      a) It will appear in a different form, or
      b) Tesla will tell everybody (including the reservation holders) “we were just kidding?”, and then produce nothing?

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        I think it may be pushed back. They don’t have the site selected and stuff isn’t exactly moving along quickly right now. These are new building processes for them as well. There are so many unknowns. But I think you’ll see something close to this eventually.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        the first one. I know Elon’s stans love to just parrot what he says but don’t really understand anything (see mcs’s comment below.) Worse yet are the people who unquestioningly believe it’s designed for use on Mars.

  • avatar
    Rovercar

    “ridiculous-looking Cybertruck”

    I can’t believe that this thing will actually reach the market, though it possibly will. I thought the essence of the American pickup truck was practicality and utility. But I’m not in touch with reality because my frame of reference is based on a time when you could buy a basic F-150 for $12k and drive it forever.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “I thought the essence of the American pickup truck was practicality and utility”

      There’s more practicality and utility in the cybertruck than the F-150. 3mm thick cold-rolled flat stainless steel panels. A sloped aerodynamic frontend rather than a fashion-driven inefficient high frontend. Kneeling capability to lower the bed to make it easier to load.

      Thank $12k F-150 couldn’t be driven forever because it would rust away to nothing. Now, you can option an F-150 all the way to at least $75k.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Interesting…I wasn’t aware Aluminum rusted. And while you can option any full sized truck that high, basic ones are still less than half of your figure. And don’t Dodge trucks kneel and have done so for some time? I know they will lower to hook up a trailer…a practical function many use a truck for BTW.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          aluminum can corrode if left in contact with a dissimilar metal (e.g. iron/steel) with an electrolyte present.

          edit: same for stainless steel. Stainless is rust *resistant,* not rust *proof.*

      • 0 avatar
        indi500fan

        Has anybody done a quick calculation of what this beast would weigh if they were actually made of 1/8 thick steel? That’s 3X typical body panel material.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          that would be pointless since we don’t know anything about the overall construction of the vehicle. Only ardent Tesla fans believe they know everything about the Cybertruck right now.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Well they say the doors are 60 pounds. Not sure if that is the skin or the panel. Seems light as I recall a 70’s F series door being around 70 pounds with everything installed and they lacked the impact protection of modern assemblies. Perhaps the rest of the doors structure is a lighter metal or something otherwise something doesn’t add up.

          I don’t see how you get this lighter than a conventional pickup. Frames just aren’t that heavy…especially compared to a battery pack and even if it is only the doors that are the thick metal (no reason to bulletproof the Bed or Frunk) this doesn’t appear to be aa lightweight rig.

          In my experience driving trucks where the people outside want to kill the people inside, it really isn’t bullets that get you anyway, it is the big boom underneath hitting that flat bottom so I don’t know what it is all about.

          • 0 avatar
            indi500fan

            Well for IEDs you’d need an MRAP for sure. But for cruising the ‘hood, 1/8 plate isn’t going to stop an AR-15 round. Maybe Musk will offer an optional composite armor package.

  • avatar

    The funniest thing about the Crosstour is that all Honda had to do was copy the Outback, move for move, and they probably would have had a winner. It was so simple. And yet they designed a car looking like a defecating dog.

  • avatar
    subuclayton

    How long will this truck factory keep its door open? IMO, unlikely Tesla pick-up truck facility will be around in 12 years.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    If the price point is $48K or less:

    1) Acura ZDX. Let’s take the Crosstour, and make it even uglier.

    2) Nissan Cross Cabriolet. An answer to a question NO ONE asked.

    3) Gen I Subaru Tribeca. That grille, that let’s channel the ghost of Edsel Ford grille.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @redapple–Agree that trucks have gotten too tall and the side of the beds is hard to reach in. When you need a ladder to reach into the bed of a truck then it is too tall. What I do like about this truck is the ramp which is something that I would like to see other truck makers adopt especially for loading and unloading furniture and outdoor equipment.

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