By on June 23, 2020

To Travis County, Texas, wherein lies the city of Austin, it probably sounds great.

Tesla, which has been on the hunt for a second U.S. production site for months, plans to pitch just such an offer to county officials on Tuesday, Bloomberg reports. In it, the automaker calls the jobs “middle-skill,” which has assembly plant worker written all over it.

Earlier this month, word arose that Tesla was in the process of negotiating an incentives package with Austin-area officials in advance of a possible plant build. Company CEO Elon Musk, eager to move more of his business away from California while also building capacity for construction of additional Model Y vehicles and the forthcoming Cybertruck, made his desire to set up shop in Texas clear.

It’s looking likely that Tulsa, Oklahoma embarrassed itself for nothing.

According to Bloomberg, Tesla’s pitch relies, at least in some part, on highlighting employment losses experienced during the pandemic. In Travis County, unemployment hit 12.4 percent in April, compared to just 2.2 percent a year earlier.

Obviously, jurisdictions hurting from the pandemic might prove very receptive to companies proposing 5,000 middle-skill jobs at a $1 billion factory. Average annual salary for the permanent jobs proposed would be just north of $47,000, the presentation reportedly states.

In return for the roughly 5 million-square-foot plant, Tesla will want concessions from local officials; just how much it intends to save via tax breaks (and who knows what other perks) is unknown.

[Image: Tesla]

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18 Comments on “Tesla to Texas County: How Does 5,000 Jobs Sound?...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “Tesla’s pitch relies, at least in some part, on highlighting employment losses experienced during the pandemic”

    That would be silly, since Tesla was also shut down during the pandemic – unless they’re claiming that Tesla jobs are more durable than those at a caterer, for example.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s probably going to pull in much more than 5k jobs. There will be various suppliers along with service/restaurant jobs in the area where the land is. The land is about 5 miles outside of what was Bergstrom Air Force Base (now Austin’s airport). I think they’re looking at over 2k acres. That’s going to be more than 5k jobs. Part of the deal might be for the Texas Auto Dealers to shut up and allow direct sales by Tesla.

      • 0 avatar


        1 Manufacturing job usually spin off 5-7 additional jobs. Those 5000 tesla jobs will create directly (suppliers) another 25000. 1/2 of those in texas. Then add in another 25,000 or what ever in house construction, restaurants, car dealers, govt bureau crats injecting red tape.

        The Tesla direct employment will be a fraction of the added total. thats why govt kill themselves to GET the plants. too bad they dont seem to care about keeping them.

        50,000 Plants
        10,000,000 jobs went to China in the last 20 years.

      • 0 avatar

        Correct – it could be 5,000 direct jobs at Tesla, plus all the indirect jobs at JIT suppliers that would locate close to the plant.

        They could build the plant close to Austin-Bergstrom Airport and Circuit of the Americas, right off the 130 Toll Road. CotA could be their test track.

        • 0 avatar

          It could end up being headquarters as well. Especially that close to the airport. That would be like giving their staff a raise. Relocating people means building new homes and they’d have the cash from the sale of their bay area homes to spend.

          It’s a big chunk of land. They’ve been talking about building home HVAC systems based on scaling up the heat pump design in the model Y. The semi-truck plant might go there as well. There is also talk of a 12 passenger van for the Boring company. Maybe a plant to support the power distribution business as well.

          They have the paperwork and filings with the Comptroller and the Del Valle ISD ready to go. They just have to execute if TX is ready to play ball.

  • avatar

    Low taxes.
    Cheap land.
    Folks that are not afraid of hard work.

  • avatar

    If the Texans are smart, they won’t tax Tesla at all, or some token amount to cover expenses.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Oh My Lord, watch the politicians buy extra gel-filled knee pads and lip gloss by the gross. For an extra-cynical dose; explain that one factory job means five more support/supply jobs is basically Keynesian economics. Studies will show that the money will be made up in the near 5-10 year future.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    I enjoy Austin. Sadly It is inside of the radius around Fort Hood that I promised myself that I’d never set foot in again.

  • avatar

    And most of those “25,000” other jobs will likely be near minimum wage, like food services, etc. Plus, if you move engineers from CA, they’ll raise the house prices 15-20%, so guess what – most of the service people won’t be able to afford to live in Austin. But, a few people (CEOs) will get rich off of it, so let’s do it! (/sarcasm)

    • 0 avatar

      The difference with Texas over CA is that there is a lot more land to absorb the people. Another factor is that the highway the plant would be located on has an 85 MPH speed limit. If you want a 30-minute commute, you could potentially go 45 to 50 miles away. The big spaces in Texas make it much harder to push up real estate prices.

  • avatar

    You can outsource restaurants to China. Order food online and they will bring it on first available flight.

    • 0 avatar

      You could call it Pangolin Express.

      • 0 avatar

        Comment of the day!

        (“Panda Express – We’re why pandas are an endangered species”!)

        The Tesla Truck will do a trick no other vehicle does: if you hit a bird, dragonfly or bumblebee just right, it won’t go splat, but instead will be neatly sliced into two equal halves.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Positive – direct jobs and indirect support jobs hugely available.
    Negative – Starting about 25 years ago new tech completely bastardized Austin. The quaint bohemian town I fell in love with is no more. Also, traffic is already standstill levels.

    Progress I guess.

  • avatar

    The jobs magnet that is Texas has successfully attracted one member of my nuclear family – from way over there.

  • avatar

    It certainly would be radically cheaper and easier to build in Travis County than it would be to try expanding further in Fremont, CA. Silicon Valley has a now long tradition of giving birth to gifted business children and then seeing them move away.

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