Tesla picks Austin over Tulsa for new assembly plant

Tesla to Austin

AUSTIN, Tex. — Tesla picked the Austin, Texas area as the site for its largest auto assembly plant employing at least 5,000 workers.

The new factory will build Tesla’s upcoming Cybertruck pickup and will be a second U.S. manufacturing site for the Model Y small SUV, largely for distribution to the East Coast.

Tesla will build on a 2,100-acre site in Travis County near Austin and will get more than $60 million in tax breaks from the county and a local school district over the next decade, according to the Associated Press.

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Work on the plant, which will be over 4 million square feet, is already underway, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said.

The company has pledged to invest $1.1 billion and said it will pay a minimum wage of $15 per hour to employees and provide health insurance, paid leave and other benefits, according to the Associated Press.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum released this statement about the Tesla selection:

“When you compete at the highest levels, you can’t always win. We congratulate the city of Austin on landing this incredible facility. Tesla is just a remarkable organization - remarkable products, remarkable mission, remarkable leader, and a remarkable team. Tulsa was honored to be considered for this opportunity, and we are eager to find other ways down the road that we can help the team at Tesla succeed.

“I can’t properly convey my gratitude for all the Tulsans who rallied around this opportunity because they wanted the best for our city. We are a city that loves great innovators and the companies they build, and we made that clear to the whole world. Our workforce, our quality of life, and our ease of doing business have caught the attention of major companies around the world - and with that will come more opportunities. We will continue to work together in building a world class city.”

Governor Kevin Stitt also release this statement regarding the choice:

“Over the past few months, Tulsans and Oklahomans as a whole showed the nation and the world that our state is worthy of being one of two finalists for an innovative, cutting-edge company like Tesla.

The comprehensive effort made by the State of Oklahoma, the City of Tulsa and the Tulsa Regional Chamber proves Oklahoma remains open for business and an ideal destination for the automotive industry despite today’s announcement.

We will be actively recruiting Tesla’s supplier base to Oklahoma as well as many other companies whose eyes have been opened to our state throughout this process.

I wish Elon Musk and Tesla all the best. In fact, I wish them so much success they are forced to expand again, because I know just the place.”

President and CEO of Tulsa Regional Chamber Mike Neal released this statement:

“Tesla also saw an overwhelming outpouring of support from thousands and thousands of local citizens via social media and other means. Ours is a welcoming region, and though we might not have gotten Tesla, without a doubt other great new projects are still ahead. Northeast Oklahoma has seen big increases in economic development activity the past several years, and we’re optimistic that will continue. Tulsa beat out a host of other significantly larger, world-class cities to be a finalist for the Tesla project, and that has to mean great things for our future.”

Austin Mayor Steve Adler tweeted in response to the news Wednesday evening: