Is Tesla Coming to New Mexico?

Posted by Alfonso Salazar on Monday, March 17th, 2014 at 10:22am.

Back in February it was announced that Tesla was considering coming to New Mexico.  This would be HUGE for many reasons.  They are planning to make a decision and build their "gigafactory" by 2017.  This plant would build the batteries for the all-electric Tesla cars.  

As far as benefits for New Mexico, most importantly it would create approximately 6,500 jobs within the state.  This would make them the second largest employer in the state, behind Presbyterian Hospital/Health Plan.  Not only would those 6,500 new jobs be created, but those employees would spend money, boosting the economy in the area.  Not to mention the need for suppliers throughout the area.  

We are competing with Arizona, Texas and Nevada for the location.  While each state is trying to woo Tesla, I believe we stand a pretty good chance.  While Texas and Arizona are in the running, each of their states have banned the direct sale of Tesla.  This has been a little confusing, but basically, Tesla wants to sell cars directly.  No sales men, just order your car online.  There are showrooms, called "galleries" available, however the people that work there (referred to as "representatives") are not allowed to give any real info about the vehicles as far as cost or help you purchase one.  While everyone can still purchase a Tesla online, there is still a rocky relationship with Texas and Arizona (in addition to Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey).  While it's bad for Tesla, I'm hoping that ban will help give us a selling point to having the gigafactory here locally.  Knowing those rocky relationships, I'd like to think our biggest competition is Nevada.  

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New Mexico's Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela believes we have a good chance.  He has stated, "We're in the game  They are very seriously considering New Mexico."  Although he has signed a nondisclosure agreement and can't give details, Barela has stated that New Mexico is competing "very, very aggressively."  

Let's hope our tax incentives will help make the decision for them.  We need this plant.  Governor Susana Martinez seems to be pretty confident that we will be able to land the plant, let's hope she can woo them enough with tax breaks, credits to get them to come here.  If all else fails, let's send them a special shipment of green chile for some brownie points?  

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