AUSTIN (KXAN) — Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced Thursday he’s moving the headquarters of his electric car brand from Palo Alto, California to Austin, Texas.
Musk said, “I’m excited to announce we are moving our headquarters to Austin, Texas,” during an annual meeting with stockholders.
This comes after Tesla announced last summer Travis County would be the site of its new gigafactory. Just this month, the automaker ramped up hiring for the factory, posting hundreds of new available jobs.
“Our factory is five minutes from the airport, 15 minutes from downtown, and we’re going to create an ecological paradise, because we’re right on the Colorado River. It’s going to be great,” Musk said to stockholders Thursday.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler released a statement after the announcement, saying “We welcome Tesla home!”
“It’s a tech company that creates the clean manufacturing, middle-skill jobs Austin needs. We’re one of the safest big cities, with a strong innovative, entrepreneurial, environmentally focused culture and Tesla fits right in. Tesla is now an even larger part of a community that works together to meet our challenges and to enjoy a magical city,” Adler said in his statement.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also welcomed Musk and Tesla on social media, saying “The Lone Star State is the land of opportunity and innovation.”
Musk continued on to say they will still be expanding activities in California, but they want to do that in Texas too.
“This isn’t a matter of Tesla leaving California, our intention is to actually increase output,” he explained.
Tesla follows other large California companies like Oracle, looking to plant roots in Texas. Oracle announced in December 2020 it was moving its corporate headquarters from California to Austin. Samsung is also weighing the city of Taylor as a potential location for its new $17 billion semiconductor plant.
The upcoming move of Tesla’s headquarters comes after Musk’s own personal move to Texas, which he confirmed last year.
Impact on Austin community
Laura Huffman, president and CEO of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, calls Tesla HQ’s move to Austin a “home run” for the community.
“We have to remember Tesla is already going to create around 10,000 jobs, and those are real jobs for real people right here in Austin,” she said. “They are career opportunities for people that might not have otherwise had those chances.”
She says those chances, which include the higher wages Tesla could offer, apply to people coming out of high school, as well as two-year and four-year degree programs.
Huffman called Austin “a community of innovation,” and with Tesla’s HQ, she says it would “cement that reputation, not just in Texas but around the world.”
Mayor Adler added, in an interview with KXAN Thursday, Austin is one of the most desirable places to live, and this announcement will continue to attract people worldwide. The airport could benefit from the extra attention the community is getting, too.
“I think that as the city continues to grow and as our links to more and more cities both domestically and internationally, that puts us in line to increase the number of direct flights we have going to more places,” he said.
As far as housing, Adler says Musk has “indicated intent to help build a considerable amount of housing in the community.” Huffman says housing is already going up around the Tesla gigafactory site.
Written by Jaclyn Ramkissoon