Tesla owner and operator Elon Musk tweeted May 9 that he intends to move the company headquarters and operations after encountering obstacles in California, where he was forced to temporarily suspend production at an electric car factory because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Frankly, this is the final straw,” Musk wrote. “Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately.”
Musk’s statement prompted speculation as well as recruiting pitches, including an overture from Fort Bend County Judge KP Judge, who invited Musk to relocate to the area in a letter released last Thursday by George’s office.
“I understand you have become frustrated with the climate in your current location as we all fight this invisible enemy,” George wrote. “However, I think your company would greatly benefit from learning about Fort Bend County as your search for a suitable location continues.”
According to multiple news reports since George wrote his letter, it is unlikely that Tesla will be moving to Fort Bend.
The company is considering Austin and Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to those reports.
That has not stopped suitors from weighing in. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner also made a recent pitch to Tesla. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed on Twitter last week that he had been in contact with Musk about relocating to Texas, but did not mention any specific locales.
“Texas is a perfect fit for Tesla,” Abbott tweeted last Wednesday.
In George’s letter, he touted what he called Fort Bend County’s “unique” and diverse workforce and ability to produce and distribute goods due to its strategic location in the Houston area, which is considered the energy capital of the world.
“From pioneers like Stephen F. Austin who started the state of Texas here to the engineers that work at NASA and call Fort Bend home, Tesla and Elon Musk would benefit from our strategic location, highly educated workforce, and a friendly business climate,” George said.
According to the Greater Houston Partnership, Houston’s ecosystem offers a competitive advantage to energy companies working in solar, wind, biomass and other renewables activities such as Tesla’s.
Tesla specializes in renewable resources production such as electric vehicles, battery energy storage from home to grid scale as well as solar panel and solar roof tiles.
“While your location in California is no longer deemed suitable for your company, we in Fort Bend County are more than open to welcome thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investments. We stand ready to work with you and your team,” George said in his letter. “We invite you to visit Fort Bend County and see for yourself why our community is the best place for your new headquarters and future programs.”
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