This State Is Pushing Hard to Be Home of the Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) Gigafactory

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When Tesla Motors Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) first announced its plans for the "Gigafactory," the company listed four states as possible homes for the world's largest lithium-ion battery factory: Arizona, Texas, Nevada, and New Mexico.

One month later, no final decision has been made, but one state is making the strongest push.

Arizona.

Currently, state legislators are pushing a bill that will allow Tesla to sell its electric automobiles directly to consumers, a business model that is banned in numerous states. Currently, automakers must sell their vehicles through dealerships in Arizona, and that's a business practice Tesla refuses to adhere to.

Nasdaq: TSLATesla operates dozens of stores and galleries across the United States where customers can learn about and purchase the Tesla Model S sedan directly from Tesla employees. In states where direct-auto sales are banned, customers visit Tesla galleries and then purchase the vehicle online or in another state.

By actively pushing a new legislation that caters to Tesla's preferred business model, the state is attempting to restore any goodwill its current dealership-friendly legislation may have displaced.

"We wanted to send a message that Arizona is open for business," Arizona State Representative Warren Peterson told CNN.

The mayors of several Arizona cities are also getting in on the wooing of Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Mesa Mayor Scott Smith has penned a formal letter inviting Musk to the city to explore the possibilities of building the Gigafactory there. Smith describes Mesa as having a "skilled workforce, business-friendly tax structure, and quality education system." Details of any tax incentives have not yet been released.

Tucson's Mayor Jonathan Rothschild has also chimed in.

"We are the home to the Mars exploratory mission at the University of Arizona and known nationally as the Solar City," Rothschild said. "I think Tesla will feel right at home in Tucson."

Clearly Tucson is attempting to appeal to Musk's interest in space exploration and solar energy, as he is the CEO and Founder of SpaceX and SolarCity Corp. (Nasdaq: SCTY).

Landing the Tesla Gigafactory would be a huge prize for any of the four states in the running. Here's why Arizona is making its desire so apparent…

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  1. Frank Etscorn | March 27, 2014

    Los Alamos, Sandia National Lab. White Sands, NM spaceport (Sir Richard Branson), New Mexico Tech (on Discovery Channel for Langmuir Lab lightning research, Myth Busters twice, headquarters for The Very Large Array Baseline Telescope, I could go on), University of NM, NM state university (where Clyde Tombaugh spent his last years, Mr. Pluto), Magdalena Ridge Observatory. And I've failed to mention all the scientific businesses already in NM. Santa Fe, Taos and the history of the west. Pueblos and Navajo folks. Culture. Got that too. Culture in TX? Sheriff Joe in AZ? CA? Well we know what that's like… Open for business? You bet! Science? Got that too in spades. More PhDs per capita than any other state. And a work force that will work their asses off: from janitor to scientist. PS: the red and green chile in those other states? New Mexicans laugh at their feeble attempts to synthesize our chile.

  2. Hotch | March 27, 2014

    With a great, unionized workforce and simple-to-understand one-party government, I wonder why Chicago isn't on Tesla's list. Rahm Emmanuel said this morning that all the good companies were looking to locate or relocate in Chicago.

  3. 000057794747 | March 27, 2014

    Why in the world go to a state that doesn´t allow direct sale?
    However, for us as investors it´s more important that Tesla finds any place to produce cars and batteries and keep on selling all over the world.

  4. 000057794747 | March 27, 2014

    Sorry, didn´t see the link to the article about Arizona considering to allow direct sales. I´m sure Government Motors etc would love to use their auto dealers to kill Tesla. Can the rebel states hinder that?

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