USA Today has an illuminating update on the search for a site for the Gigafactory, a planned battery manufacturing plant for Tesla motors that is touted to create 6,500 jobs on the basis of an investment of $4 billion to $5 billion. The two top contenders are reportedly San Antonio, Texas and Reno, Nevada, which have advantages over New Mexico and Arizona:
both are right-to-work states, Boyd said. Tesla has firsthand experience with the higher labor costs associated with manufacturing in California, which is not a right-to-work state. You can bet that this is one lesson Tesla CEO Elon Musk would rather not repeat — making it bad news for New Mexico, Boyd said.
Arizona, meanwhile, recently failed to pass a bill that would have allowed Tesla to bypass dealerships in the state and sell its cars directly to consumers. Although some analysts labeled the development as the death knell for Arizona's chances to land the Gigafactory, it is not the deal breaker that some are making it out to be, Boyd said. Instead, Arizona's challenge in landing the high-profile plant lies elsewhere.
"Arizona has a very positive business climate but at the end of the day, it has that corporate income tax," Boyd said. "You have lower operating costs in Nevada and Texas."