By on May 21, 2020

Elon Musk + Tesla Model S Circa 2011

Move over, people of Joplin — Tulsa, Oklahoma wants to host Tesla’s proposed second U.S. assembly plant, and it’s prepared to embarrass itself to see it happen.

On Wednesday, Tesla aficionados assembled their vehicles around the city’s famous, 75-foot-tall Golden Driller statue, which they deftly decked out to look like Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk. To Tulsa, Musk is the golden boy. Rumors abound that the sometimes unhinged executive has decided on either Austin, Texas or Tulsa for the new assembly plant site.

Some hope he’ll even move his company’s headquarters out of California.

“We are trying to relocate this company from California to Tulsa to kind of grow our economic development here in the city.” Kimberly Honea told ABC7 News.

With low taxes and a skilled workforce, Tulsa is making a big pitch for the promised 10,000 jobs that would accompany any new plant. It’s the same thing we saw with another plant site hopeful — Joplin, MO — last month.

On May 9th, Musk tweeted that he planned to move his HQ and future products to either Texas or Nevada “immediately,” claiming that the decision to retain any manufacturing capacity in California would depend on how the state treats the company. This was widely seen as a crude threat designed to reverse a local decision related to coronavirus measures.

As reported by CBS, Tulsa’s mayor, G.T. Bynum, has gone so far as to suggest the city’s police department will field a fleet of Cybertrucks if Tesla chooses his town. If you like your local police force’s vehicles to carry a dystopian flair, well, you can’t do better than the Cybertruck. Hopefully the city can arrange a competitive fleet buy, as the most capable version of said truck — slated to be built at the new plant — is said to carry a price in the area of $70k.

Tesla remains mum on its ultimate choice; no doubt it’s still in the process of seeing what a number of municipalities can do for it and weighing the financials. Musk, who recently sued California’s Alameda Country in an attempt to overturn a lockdown order that was keeping the company’s Fremont assembly plant shuttered (then forging ahead with a reopening anyway), all the while raging against what he saw as unconstitutional behavior on the part of county officials, seems preoccupied of late. Not just with personal liberty and a desire to rid himself of California bureaucracy, but with the first manned SpaceX launch — a historic event scheduled for May 27th.

Well, maybe it hasn’t been too much of a distraction.

[Image: Tesla]

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14 Comments on “Tulsa Prostrates Itself Before Elon Musk Shrine...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Corporate welfare – no elected official can say no to it.

    My concern about a central US location for a large facility is tornadoes. Fremont doesn’t get many of those.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      True. The Oklahoma City Assembly Plant we had was damaged by a tornado in 2003. That plant last cranked out overflow GMT 360 SUVs and was shuttered in 2006, well before the bankruptcy. It is now being leased to neighboring TInker Air Force Base, who uses it to assemble F-16 engines and such.

    • 0 avatar
      Mydirtisred

      Nope, but they do get the occasional earthquake. Reminds me of one of my favorite ‘Simpsons’ episodes, ‘Hurricane Neddy’:

      Homer: Oh Lisa! There’s no record of a hurricane ever hitting Springfield.

      Lisa: Yes, but the records only go back to 1978 when the Hall of Records was mysteriously blown away.

  • avatar
    spookiness

    I wish I was smart enough to write a palindrome incorporating Tulsa and Tesla.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    Musk: “Liberty and stuff!”
    Also Musk: “I’m leaving California because they won’t bribe me with other people’s tax dollars! I’ll show them by moving my electric car company to the center of the oil business!”

    The truth is that Tesla and the authorities were only one week apart on their timeline for reopening Fremont, and were working fine together. But Musk was seeking subsidies/concessions for SpaceX, and thought throwing a tantrum on an unrelated issue would be a clever way to bring pressure, or what one Donald Trump in “The Art of the Deal” referred to as “leverage.”

    So maybe there’s a method to the madness. But maybe it’s just madness. Musk keeps bandying about phases like “I’ve taken the red pill!” that are more commonly associated with incels, MRAs, and other internet losers furious that the world has not recognized their inherent genius.

    But the world has recognized his genius. It has given him money, fame, half a dozen kids, a glamorous girlfriend, and until recently the admiration of millions.

    Having known my fair share of bipolar individuals (and parented one), I strongly suspect he’s bipolar and has gone off his meds. The comedown from this episode will be brutal. I hope Tesla has backup management in place.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Unmanaged bipolar is a Bad Thing.

      I want him/Tesla to succeed, but I also believe Tesla would be better off without him now.

      • 0 avatar
        Chocolatedeath

        Wait….what???? You have confused me alot lately. I am one of those that kinda follow folks who comment on these pages and attempt to learn where they are automotive. You have thrown my off over the past 4-6 months.

  • avatar
    285exp

    Is the mayors name G. T. Bynum or P. T. Barnum?

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    Teslas from Tulsa? That’s fun to say. What’s next- Toyota pickups made in Tacoma?

  • avatar
    conundrum

    Socialism for the the corporate rich, all these cities groveling for a Tesla plant or an Amazon warehouse. The intended recipient of the largesse a billionaire who can’t be bothered following the law. Typical. They’re all so special with an intelligence far beyond the serfs being served up as the people who actually pay for the city father’s dreams through their property taxes.

    Funny nobody has written a novel on this peculiar form of capitalist dementia so happily embraced by low level brains of the rah rah local Chamber of Commerce variety. If you live in a medium-large city, they’ve (you’ve) already built free sports stadiums for billionaire major league owners without your say so, built on layers of blarney so thick, that by the end of the debacle, nobody can remember what the original issues were. The local sports fans, whipped up into a frothing frenzy by the big guys, dictated to the majority, the opposite of democracy.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “If you live in a medium-large city, they’ve (you’ve) already built free sports stadiums for billionaire major league owners without your say so”

      Hmm. Sounds like Pittsburgh, circa 2000. Three Rivers Stadium lasted 30 years, so we’re almost due for replacement parks for football and baseball. Can’t fall behind!

  • avatar
    RHD

    Discovered in Tulsa, Oklahoma: The long-lost seventh member of the Village People!

  • avatar
    probert

    Should have lowered the Tesla sign about a foot to show how they really feel.

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