Tesla, Schwarzenegger to Make WhiteStar Manufacturing Announcement

Update: Tesla has decided to manufacture its electric sedan, newly named “Model S,” in California. We attended the press event and got the details from Governor Schwarzenegger, Treasure Bill Lockyer, and Tesla execs Ze’ev Drori and Elon Musk. Read all about it here.

Tesla just sent out a media alert that says the company will be making a big announcement on Monday afternoon concerning “a significant development in Tesla’s manufacturing strategy” for the electric vehicle startup’s next car, a sedan code-named WhiteStar. Tesla plans to hold a press conference at the company’s headquarters in San Carlos, Calif., and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and California Treasurer Bill Lockyer will attend and discuss “clean technology investment in California.”

While Tesla won’t comment further on what the announcement is until Monday afternoon, we’re guessing that Tesla will partly manufacture its WhiteStar sedan in California. If so, would this be in addition to the plant planned for New Mexico, or would it replace that plant? In February 2007 Tesla said that it would build a $35 million assembly plant in Albuquerque to produce the WhiteStar. Construction on that New Mexico plant was supposed to start in April 2007 and deliver 400 jobs to the area.

The fight between states to bring green jobs to cities has become fierce. The announcement about the New Mexico plant last year noted that the company chose the state because of incentives like the “high wage job tax credit, the manufacturer’s investment tax credit and assistance from the Job Training Incentive Program.” That release also pointed out that “several states, including Arizona and California, were in talks with Tesla Motors over locating the “WhiteStar” assembly plant.” We’ll be covering the news on Monday and will update you guys as soon as we know.


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