Created: 05/07/2014 10:29 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Wednesday, many expected Tesla to narrow down its picks for a new Gigafactory. Instead, it broadened its options, throwing California back into the mix with New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and Texas as a possible contender.
Tesla also officially announced that it will break ground in two states. Albuquerque Business First reporter Dan Mayfield says experts say this is a common process.
“Just in case something goes wrong at one site, you have a backup. For most of us, we say hey, there's your decision, you made it, go there -- but when you're dealing with a 5 billion dollar factory, one delay could kill it,” Mayfield said.
Speed is of the essence; Tesla must build its new factory by 2017 to meet the demand for its cars.
The city says talk of Tesla is causing more businesses to bite on Albuquerque, adding to an already business-friendly climate.
“Mayor Berry worked really hard for the first four years work with the legislature and the governor to try to change some of our tax structure that would allow big corporations and manufacturers opportunities like Tesla to come in and as a result we're seeing more and more of these knocking on our door,” Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Gilbert Montano said.
Albuquerque Economic Development president Gary Tonjes says Albuquerque has already proved itself business-friendly, and that many businesses follow others in their sectors.
“We have so many companies that are here in part perhaps because it was a business relationship with somebody else. They know there's a talent pool with a certain skillset somebody may be interested in,” Tonjes said.
Tonjes says the key is to find businesses that will fuel New Mexico’s economy.
“We need what we call economic base companies- companies that sell their product outside of New Mexico. When we do that, when those companies do that, they bring money into New Mexico, and it's that new money that comes into the state that really drives the economy,” Tonjes said.
AED works to bring businesses interested in New Mexico to seal the deal.
“Our job is to figure out, one, identify the companies, pursue them - -then find out what their needs are, and once we know those needs, then bring to bear all the support we possibly can - the information and resources needed to win that project,” Tonjes said.