“If you think things can’t get worse it’s probably only because you lack sufficient imagination.”
Tesla Motors is looking to build a large new factory in North America to make battery cells for its upscale, high-powered electric vehicles.
The Phoenix area — in particular Chandler — could be in the running for the new factory.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during aconference call earlier this week the Palo Alto, Calif.-based automaker is looking at manufacturing its own battery cells to keep up with demand. Musk said the factory would likely be in North America and would be solar-powered. The company manufacturers its electric cars at a plant in Fremont, Calif.
We’ve heard the Valley could be in the running for the possible battery plant. There is available land and space in the Valley including former Motorola space in Chandler. There’s also plenty of parcels and space in other parts of the Valley ranging from Goodyear to the Mesa Gateway Airport area.
A Tesla spokesman declined comment.
“We do not have any plans that we can share at this time,” said Tesla spokesmanPatrick Jones.
Economic development executives and local Chandler officials also declined or did not respond to requests for comment.
Earlier this week, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) announced it was locating a 700-worker domestic manufacturing plant at the former GM Proving Ground development in Mesa. An Apple entity bought First Solar’sfailed Mesa factory for $113.6 million and will locate a factory at that site.
The Apple plant will be powered by a solar farm it will develop along with Salt River Project.
Apple also is in line for property, energy, manufacturing and high-wage job creation tax breaks from the state.
Tesla has a dealership location inside Scottsdale Fashion Square. The upstart automaker hired an Arizona lobbying firm, Hamilton Consulting Inc., in September.
Firm President James Hamilton said Tesla hired his lobbying outfit to handle possible dealership issues at the Arizona Legislature. Traditional auto dealers in other states have tried to stymie online sales by Tesla and other new automakers.
The Phoenix area has an existing automotive sector that includes Chandler-based design collaborative Local Motors, high-effiicency startup firm Elio Motors and supply chain firms including TRW Vehicle Safety Systems. TRW manufacturers airbags at the plant near Germann and Elliott roads in Mesa.
There will be plenty of competition for Tesla’s battery factory. There are empty plants sites in a host of markets including Michigan, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, New York, Ontario, Canada; and Tesla’s home state of California that could also look to grab the battery plant.
Elio Motors, for example, has its main executives based in Phoenix but has design operations mostly in Detroit and plans on building its prototype electric vehicles at a former General Motors plant in Shreveport, La.
Tesla manufacturers high-end, high-powered, fuel efficient electric cars.
The company’s stock has taken a hit this week after three recent car fires. Tesla’s stock closed at $137.95 per share on Friday. That’s off from its recent 52-week high of $194.50 per share, according to Google Finance.
Mike Sunnucks writes about politics, law, airlines, sports business and the economy.
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Walter Unger CCIM, CCSS, CCLS
I am a successful Commercial Investment Real Estate Broker in Arizona now for 15 years and I worked with banks and their commercial REO properties for 3 years. I am also a commercial landspecialist in Phoenix and a Landspecialist in Arizona.
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NOW IS THE TIME FOR YOU TO EXPAND, UPGRADE OR INVEST.
we are at on the a rise of the cycle in Commercial Real Estate. so there is only one way and it’s called we are going up and now is the time for you to expand, upgrade or invest in Commercial Properties in Phoenix. The prices on deals I may get you will not be around forever.
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We barely could give land away the last few years, but times are changing. Even in those meager years, I sold more land across the state than most other brokers. Before the real estate crash I was a land specialist in Arizona with millions of dollars of transactions, but then I had to change and also sell other commercial investment properties, which was fun, but I am a Commercial Landspecialist in Arizonal, a Commercial Land Specialist in Phoenix and love to sell land, one acre to thousands of acres.
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