• Feb 19th 2007 at 6:08PM
  • 6
The bidding war is over, and Albuquerque, New Mexico is now officially the location of the new WhiteStar electric sedan factory. This location is not a complete surprise, as we reported two days ago, but I'm sure folks in North Carolina and elsewhere are disappointed.
The WhiteStar plant will employ 400 people, and Governor Richardson is glad to report they will be "high wage" jobs that pay between $24,000 and $100,000 a year, and have "excellent benefits and stock options." Construction on the plant will start, at the latest, by April. There's no word on when the first WhiteStars will roll off the line, but Tesla Motors has never been a company that moves slow.

Tesla's official notice on the plant opening is here.

[Source: Tesla Motors]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm sure it will be a great looking car... but even if it isn't, I'm interested enough in the White Star to hold off on buying a vehicle for awhile.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Thank you for your input, Mr. Siry.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm curious why Tesla's chassis development and prototype partner Lotus wasn't an obvious choice for final production. Maybe the desire of Tesla's principals to be located on home soil? Or Lotus' cost structure? I doubt Lotus was ever capacity constrained.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Lotus provides engineering and production services to Tesla for the Roadster, and will continue to do so through the life of that program. The WhiteStar is a higher volume product and we are doing most of the design and engineering in-house and have chosen to build our own facilities for assembly because it makes good business sense. With the USA as our primary market, it's pretty clear why it makes sense to assemble the cars here.

      Darryl Siry
      VP Marketing
      Tesla Motors
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm sure costs were an important consideration. Lotus is a high-cost producer, and of course they make a profit from every car they assemble. Tesla's own plant in the USA will save shipping, save import hassles, and save paying Lotus a hefty cut from every car.

      Production capacity must have also been a concern. Right now the Lotus plant in Hethel is under-utilized. They have plenty of capacity to spare for Tesla Roadsters. However, for the volume of "White Star" cars being planned, Lotus would have to add shifts and basically crank it up to full capacity and make nothing else! They aren't really set up for that kind of action.

      There's also a peace of mind that comes from having independent control of your own production facilities, because you never know what's going to happen with Lotus -- or anybody else you contracted assembly to. It's not good to have your business plan depending too heavily on somebody else's business plan.
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