• Aug 31st 2009 at 7:55AM
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Tesla Roadster Sport - Click above for high-res image gallery

The birthplace of the upcoming Tesla Model S will likely be one of two Southern California cities near/in Los Angeles: Long Beach or Downey. Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk told the Long Beach Press-Telegram that the two sites in contention for the Model S' assembly and engineering plant are a former Boeing 717 plant and a former NASA production site. Each is around a million sq ft., which is about what Musk said Tesla requires and is why the five million sq ft, about-to-close NUMMI plant was not chosen.

When the plant opens in late 2011, Musk said, it would employ between 1,000-1,200 workers, mostly locals, and make 20,000 cars a year. Tesla will announce its decision sometime next month, maybe in early September. Thanks to CJ for the tip!

UPDATE: And the fight between Long Beach and Downey is getting started...

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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 5 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      And finding workers from the people of Long Beach will be cheaper than the people of [insert almost any state here]? There a reason that certain states have auto plants...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Now we know why they didn't go with NUMMI, they considered it too big. However, I can think of a few reasons why they should at least consider it:

      1. Room for future expansion.

      2. Designed and set up for auto assembly, they could get up and running sooner.

      3. Local workforce already experienced in auto assembly.

      4. Close to headquarters.

      Perhaps Toyota might consider a partnership deal with Tesla to replace the departing GM, or maybe Tesla could form a partnership deal with another company like Aptera to share the facilities.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Originally the Model S plant was to be built in New Mexico, but Gov. Schwarzenegger offered them tax incentives to stay. They were then going to set up shop in San Jose also based in part on some local tax incentives. When the federal program to provide loans for companies making advanced alternative cars came around Tesla changed plans again because the loan program favored companies taking over brownfield sites instead of building new factories.

      So they've got the tax incentive to stay in California and the federal loan to revitalize an old factory, which led them to LA.

      No big mystery here.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Hard to say why this decision was made; must be a lot of factors involved; factors that one can never know without disclosure from the person who made the decision...Elon Musk.

      What say Mr. Musk?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I applaud Tesla for building the car in the USA. Not sure if Cali makes the most business sense though. If they are trying to stay away from the UAW, I would suggest somewhere in the south.