It looks like production of the 2011 Tesla Model S is coming to Los Angeles County. The District Weekly in Long Beach and the Downey Patriot report that Tesla is setting up shop for the new, moderately priced sedan at a former NASA facility in Downey.
"We're very close to being able to make an official announcement," Downey Mayor Mario Guerra told The District. "I'm about to call a special meeting of the city council, and we'll likely have an official announcement next week. Cars ought to be rolling off the line in 2011."
Tesla is headquartered in San Carlos, Calif., in the Bay Area. The company is headed by the headline-seeking Elon Musk, who has been boastful about his cars' capabilities. The Tesla Roadster is the company's first vehicle. It's an all-electric sports coupe with a Lotus body and a sub-4-second 0-60 time.
Musk has hinted that he'll to take the company public in order to expand. The $109,000 Roadster is beyond the reach of many (and it's a favorite of Hollywood -- Tesla unveiled the car to an industry crowd at Santa Monica airport in 2006). Aimed at a $50,000 price range, the Model S promises to be more accessible.
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The city of Downey apparently came through with incentives to attract the 1,200-job operation to the site. The city controls about 80 acres there, although it's unclear how many of those would be occupied by Tesla.
Meanwhile The District reports that the city of Long Beach might have dropped the ball in negotiations with the automaker that would have put the factory at a property owned by airplane maker Boeing:
"The City of Long Beach--particularly Mayor Bob Foster and city management--was accused of being difficult and nearly indifferent toward the possibility of a manufacturing plant that is expected to bring between 1,000 and 1,200 jobs to the area," writes The District's Dave Wielenga.
CEO Musk told LBReport.com that "if the behavior of city management and the Mayor were the deciding factor, Long Beach would definitely not win."