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Tesla selects Austin for new factory, Tulsa may be considered for future plans

Posted at 4:37 PM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-23 11:06:16-04

Tesla selected Austin, TX for its new assembly plant.

The electric car maker announced Wednesday that Austin is going to be the home for its fifth Gigafactory. It will employ about 5,000 workers and build Tesla’s new Cybertruck.

In May, Tesla selected both Tulsa and Austin as finalists for the new factory.

Tulsans and city leaders even held rallies to woo Tesla into picking Tulsa. Tesla officials said Tulsa will be considered for future Tesla ventures.

Governor Kevin Stitt met with Musk on several occasions during this selection process and reacted to the news:

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.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said it was an honor for Tulsa to be considered, and congratulated Austin.

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.

Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber, praised the Tulsa community for working together to try and convince Tesla to come to town.

While it’s certainly disappointing Tulsa was not selected as the new home for Tesla, we congratulate our fellow-finalist Austin. We thank Elon Musk and all of the Tesla leadership for their consideration of Tulsa, and we are optimistic we might still have the chance to partner with them in the future.

A big part of what made us so competitive in this process was the extraordinary collaboration among our state, local, regional and tribal partners. We especially thank Gov. Kevin Stitt and Secretary of Commerce and Workforce Development Sean Kouplen for their tremendous work throughout this process. We also thank Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum and the George Kaiser Family Foundation – especially Jeff Stava – for their commitment to showcasing our city and region.

The publicity surrounding this project has been absolutely astonishing. Tulsa’s profile has been elevated substantially, and individuals and organizations that previously might not have given us a serious look now see our advantages – including a low cost of living and short commute times, as well as an eager, well-trained workforce, access to top engineering talent and a centralized location. Those advantages will no doubt resonate with other companies looking to expand or relocate.

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.

The Tesla Owners Club of Oklahoma organized one of the first rallies to show support for bringing Tesla to Tulsa, the group is disappointed.

“The board is of course extremely sad about the news that Austin was picked over Tulsa. We have been asked to interview and we all have declined as we would be sobbing uncontrollably on screen, that is no image to send to Elon. We are, however, very proud of Tulsa, the State of Oklahoma, and Tesla Owners for getting together with creativity and true Oklahoman spirit to showcase that we are an amazing candidate for any company to bring true innovation to. We have only paved the way for the next endeavor. We thank each and everyone of you that contributed to this push #Tulsa4Tesla. In this time of sorrow, we want to give everyone space. We believe Elon will be back, or maybe someone even cooler."
Tesla Owners Club of Oklahoma

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