By on June 15, 2020

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has made it painfully clear that Texas is his first choice when it comes to locations for a second U.S. vehicle assembly plant. The executive, disillusioned and annoyed with Silicon Valley and the general California experience, had somewhere in the central or southern U.S. on his mind when he started hunting for a new plant location.

A report out of Austin Monday suggests Tesla could be close to sealing a deal.

While it’s not confirmation of a new plant, the Austin American-Statesman reports that Tesla is negotiating the terms of an incentives deal with the city.

From the newspaper:

 The Travis County Commissioners Court is scheduled to discuss the terms of the potential incentives deal in an executive session on Tuesday, according to people with knowledge of the proceedings. A vote is expected in the coming weeks.

No Travis County official would confirm the talks, or what kind of incentives the city’s willing to dangle in front of Musk. A new Tesla assembly plant would bring with it thousands of jobs, as well as the company’s revered/ridiculed Cybertruck.

Wooing a perturbed Musk emerged as a popular pastime for cities in America’s heartland this past spring, with cities like Joplin, Missouri and Tulsa, Oklahoma laying their desire for jobs, jobs, jobs bare both on social media and via back channels. Tulsa went as far as creating a temporary shine to the Tesla co-founder and suggested it would field a fleet of Cybertrucks as law enforcement vehicles.

County officials engaging in a back-and-force on incentives is no guarantee that a Tesla plant (and possibly the company’s corporate headquarters) will set up shop in Austin. It’s a normal part of any jurisdiction’s bid to lure big business. That said, it’s another bit of evidence in Austin’s favor.

[Image: Tesla]

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11 Comments on “Report: Tesla Close to Choosing Austin?...”

  • avatar

    Surprised they aren’t looking at Louisiana where the defunct GM truck plant is. If they were will to give Elio $150m, Musk should easily merit orders of magnitude more.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    If Texas is the winner, the arrangement may include a backroom deal to change that state’s dealer franchise laws. I can’t imagine Tesla building vehicles in a state where they can’t sell the product through their stores.

    • 0 avatar

      That would be a great side benefit.

    • 0 avatar

      Tesla is negotiating with the county, not the city or state. The deal is for a factory, and possibly allows enough land for relocation of the company headquarters. I can’t imagine any deal that involves changing the state’s franchise laws being discussed between a county and a company.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Perhaps the sight of all those trucks being shipped out of state will change their minds.

        Also of note: The UAW is spreading FUD about the new Tesla plant, questioning whether it will really bring ‘safe, good-paying’ jobs.

  • avatar

    If the idea is avoid the disillusionment Musk says he experienced in the California bay area then the Austin area is probably not a bad choice as long as the facilities are in Travis County and not within the Austin city limits.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      The article conjoins the Cybertruck plant search with the California drama, but that is inaccurate. This plant was never going to be in California.

      Long before the CV, Tesla made it clear they wanted to find a central-US location for this plant, which makes sense for a variety of reasons. I wouldn’t call Austin ‘central’, but it’s close enough when the local politicians are handing out corporate welfare.

      “” Brown eyes will do.

      • 0 avatar

        I think the article mentioned the drama with Tesla’s existing Bay Area plant, and Musk’s threat to move Tesla’s headquarters out of California, as a backdrop to the truck plant search. I doubt anyone thought California was a candidate for the truck plant.

        Musk listed two homes in California for sale in early May, and listed five more by May 15, saying he intends to rent and “own no homes”. There are estates available in Texas, which has no income tax (Cali’s maximum rate is 13.3%) and moving the company headquarters out of California may be the next shoe to drop. That makes the “drama” worth mentioning.

    • 0 avatar

      Good point. Austin is a bit more liberal than the rest of the state. Manufacturing companies should avoid state capitals, whose main industry is usually government, and favorite pastime is political intrigue.

    • 0 avatar

      They’re looking northeast of Austin where there is rail and other infrastructure.

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