Despite a last-minute bid to get a generous incentives package through the state legislature, Calfiornia was forced to concede the Tesla Gigafactory to its neighbor, Nevada. But as the Mercury News reports, even when the Gigafactory is done, California will be home to many more Tesla employees, and that electric car “ecosystem” is continuing to expand.
Most notably there’s the former NUMMI factory that Tesla bought from Toyota, which along with Tesla’s Palo Alto headquarters employs some 6,000 people in the Bay Area alone. Another 500 are expected to join their ranks “in the near future” according to Diarmuid O’Connell, Tesla’s VP of business development. The electric automaker remains “a committed California company”, operating 19 stores across the Golden State, and Tesla currently looking to fill some 1,500 job openings, most of those in, you guessed it, California. There’s also several smaller testing and development facilities spread out across California, and the company is looking for more office space to expand into as well.
This influx of jobs and money and people has created a local ecosystem whereby small local businesses are benefitting from an influx of new employees with cash to burn. Parts suppliers like Futuris, which builds leather interior pieces for both Tesla vehicles, are also moving into the Bay area in a bid to be close to the action. This is re-creating the supply chain and self-sustaining mini-economy that disappeared when GM dissolved the NUMMI factory partnership with Toyota.
In just a couple of years, Tesla has gone from employing barely 1,000 people to a payroll of more than 6,000, and that’s helping an entire area rebound economically. No wonder Nevada rolled out the red carpet in order to land the Gigafactory.