In the future, they’re going to call it The Tesla Tease. Or at least they should.

Despite our state’s best efforts to bend over and stroke the man’s ego, Elon Musk announced yesterday that Tesla Motors has chosen Austin over Tulsa to be the home of the company’s new futuristic factory.

The news isn’t very surprising. I don’t think any serious person thought Tulsa had a chance. In fact, that angle was the lede the local paper went with when breaking the news.

Via The Tulsa World:

The cynics — some might call them the realists — said Tulsa never had a shot at landing Tesla’s CyberTruck Gigafactory.

We’ll never know. But this much they got right: The electronic vehicle maker will build its latest production facility in Austin, Texas.

Or, as Elon Musk called the Austin site, an “ecological paradise.”

“We are going to make a factory that is going to be stunning,” Musk said during a meeting with investors and analysts Wednesday afternoon. ”It is right on the Colorado River, so we’re actually going to have a boardwalk where there will be a hiking, biking trail.

“It is going to basically be an ecological paradise. Birds in the trees, butterflies, fish in the stream, and it will be open to the public, as well.”

Holy shit. Tulsa’s pitch was the city had a big fucking field. Meanwhile, Austin is turning the Tesla campus into the set of Wild America. Tulsa never had a chance!

Of course, there were other factors that went into Tesla’s decision. Austin has a more educated workforce, no state income taxes, and better incentives. Plus, it’s not located in Oklahoma.

Naturally, Kevin Stitt tried to spin the news into a moral victory of sorts. Here’s his corporate-speech fluff response:

Screw the “Top 10 State” bullshit! Stitt’s new campaign theme should be Oklahoma – We’re Number 2!

Although it sucks Tulsa didn’t land a haymaker and get Tesla, Tulsan’s shouldn’t be too disappointed by the news. As a lifelong OKC resident, I know what it’s like to lose out on a nationwide job competition. Remember Micron Computer and United Airlines? They ditched OKC for Utah and Indianapolis – places that are even worse than Austin! – which helped motivated OKCto do all the MAPS stuff and eventually land an NBA team. Who knows. Maybe Tulsa will do the same and get their WNBA team back someday.

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42 Responses

  1. >Austin has a more educated workforce, no state income taxes, and better incentives. Plus, it’s not located in Oklahoma.<

    I think it's that last thing that clinched the deal for Austin.

    1. Lol yep! Okl-ughhh

  2. Let’s move ahead abit. Oklahoma/Tulsa now has a relationship with Tesla/EV manufacturing. Tesla is also going to build large over-the-road trucks. These will be built on a platform unrelated to the car/pickup platform. (Unrelated in the scale of the finished vehicle; there won’t be any commonality with production line equipment other than batteries if that). Pitch Elon for that factory.

    From online info; the batteries and controls would be made in Nevada at least at first but an actual assembly point is still not decided.

    1. Move ahead? Plan for the future? Try to make things better?

      You’re not going to do well on this site. Everybody here just wants to complain, blame everybody else for their ills in life, and generally be part of the problem and not the solution.

      I’m with you though…Oklahoma may have missed on this opportunity, but there are others coming.

      1. Sure in another 100 years, when Oklahoma quits calling itself the Bible belt while simultaneously being one of the worst states in the nation. Poor health, alcoholism, meth, child abuse including child sexual abuse, education (eeek even Musk called it, embarrassing) racism, very low wages (i doubled my pay when I moved from Tulsa to Arizona). Research shows OK is Literally one of the worst states in the nation. Stitt didn’t really Telsa was going to OK. Musk likes to tease seriously.

  3. Tulsa totally tossed today, tonight, and tomorrow. Time to try Texas taunted Tesla. Terrible teasers!

    1. Terrific, Terry!

  4. I still can’t, for the life of me, understand why Tulsa was in the running for the Gigafactory and not Oklahoma City. After all, OKC passed all these MAPS initiatives in an effort to drag this state into the 21st Century, which is why we got the Thunder to begin with.

    1. I don’t believe that Tulsa was ever in the running, really. Musk needed another supposed bidder to play off against Austin, and Tulsa was probably viewed as hungrier than OKC. As you point out, OKC may feel no need to jump through more hoops, thinking it has already done all the work with all those MAPS initiatives.

      Looking on the bright side for OKC, they didn’t waste time, money and effort like Tulsa did, courting a non-serious proposal.

    2. Well, we may have missed out on Tesla, but who cares? We got those shiny, cute streetcars to gawk for $140 mill! There hasn’t been a single solitary rider on them for the past 6 months as they spin around that Loop of Oblivion, but so what? That’s just me being all nit-picky.

      1. Public transportation ridership has been down all across the country, because, surprise, there’s a pretty contagious and horrible virus on the loose, imagine that!

        1. Not a problem in Oklahoma. Everyone wears masks here.

          1. Because our “president” finally said we should?

        2. Yeah, the streetcars were full to the brim before that.

          1. Actually, I’ve used the streetcar several times in going to and from Thunder games. Light rail transportation is going to result in empty trips, especially during a pandemic.

            If we want to point at government waste, Mary Fallin taking nearly a billion dollars to renovate that dump on NW 23rd St. takes the cake. At least regular people can use the streetcar. These Derplahoman politicians can’t even use the capital right, seeing that they’re as useful as a $2 bottle of liquor.

            1. Governmentwaste? Stitt has $2 million in hydroxychloroquine that was recommended by a noted health care professional to combat COVID-19.

            2. You and five other people.

  5. So the Oil Capitol of the World thought a manufacturer of electric vehicles was in their future. Can you say delusional? I knew you could!

    1. Oil is not anyone’s bright future, as Oklahoma has had numerous opportunities to learn.

      1. But Ok never learns. Who builds the only skyscraper in OKC to house an oil and gas company that never filled every floor? That now can’t even replace its own windows? Oklahoma, of course!

        Look oil and gas will always be around, it just is not a stable choice. Yet Oklahoma always hopes for the next flitting return of positive returns. History repeats itself, we as a state just never learn. Maybe that has something to do w our educational system.

  6. Did anyone seriously think that Tesla would come to Oklahoma?

  7. Bull Stitt is on one hell of a losing streak. Covid-19, tribes, gaming compact, now Tesla. IMAGINE THAT!!!

    1. It better turn around. Appears he’s put it all on the pass line this time around.

      1. I’m on the “don’t pass” stripe!!

  8. Perhaps Elon was mad at Stitt for being personally irresponsible and exposing him to the virus right before testing positive for it.

    Perhaps Elon was concerned because Stitt won’t wear a mask himself, much less direct other to do so. His wife and kids go out maskless too. Even Gov. Abbott in TX has shown more leadership than Stitt has. Stitt can’t even get along with Oklahoma’s tribes because he only sees them as cash cows.

    Electing rich guys with no government experience to high office has consequences.

    1. Governor Stitt can’t seem to get along with anyone, except the voters, and perhaps they too will wise up. He has royally pissed off the tribes, am guessing there is no trust there even with the ones he gave them rights to types of gambling that had no authority to give, since it is illegal in the state.

      The Legislature seems to be pretty unimpressed with him also, filing suit and knowing the Oklahoma Supreme Court would rule against the Gov and even saying he overstepped his authority. That sounds like that could be a removal from office offense, but perhaps that will be the one thing the Legislature will ignore, as they pretty much are all Republicans, and generally there is honor among thieves as long as you are in the same political party.

      With luck there will be a strong opponent against Stitt on the Republican side in the primary. That would get rid of two Oklahoma embarrassments, Governor Jethro and his trusty sidekick Robin, also known as Matt Pinnell. As a consolation prize perhaps Stitt will let Matt Pinnell keep the cool black crisis jacket.

      But since we all know you can’t fix stupid, there are going to be a few more embarrassing/funny moments coming from the Oklahoma Capitol Hill Dynamic Duo. I think private business is a much better fit, and perhaps the next Republican Governor can put them onto state boards, and as unqualified agency heads.

      Also am curious where former Stitt Chief of Staff Michael Junk will be going as he joins the growing list of staffers that have been jumping off the ship that is SS Stitt. Wonder where he will find more of “the smartest people in the room” and “problem solvers” as he likes to refer to his staff and worshiping underlings.

      1. Does the next governor necessarily have to be a Republican?

        I know that voters’ habits are are to break, but I can dream…

        1. Doesn’t have to be, I mean 5th Congressional District did send a Democrat to Washington but still elected a Republican as Governor.

          Who knows maybe when Terry Nease loses the 5th Congressional to Kendra she might decide to go after Stitt for a spot as Governor. She is nutty enough to try it, and there are plenty of nutty voters to go along with the plan also, and that is sort of how Stitt was able to squeak in to office. If there was Democrat running promising change, you know like Stitt did perhaps the state could actually have a two party system. More things the public wants could be settled with legislation, as opposed to the public voice only being with State Questions.

          Fortunately there is the State Question avenue for the public, perhaps recall petitions could also be on the agenda too.

          1. Sounds good, but StittBilly will be re-elected. I mean, if Mick Cornett can’t even beat the bastard, nobody can. To be fair, Mick was the most reasonable Republican to run for Governor in my lifetime, but the moment he defended [email protected]$$ Fallin in the Gubernatorial debate, I knew that he was toast.

      2. My theory is Pinnell will end up heading Tourism.

  9. Stitt got slapped down on his Medicaid Expansion 2.0 idea, which was just a way to keep control away from the people… but he has come back strong by trying to privatize the Medicaid agency, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.

    This is not making much news…. but will result in hundreds losing their jobs.

    Kevin Corbett, the CEO at OHCA, is eager for this to happen … it will please his boss… whom he says over and over truly cares about poor people and their health.

  10. No Shitt !!!

  11. I miss the Tulsa Shock #shocktheworld

  12. I know from experience that second place doesn’t mean diddly squat.

  13. Oklahoma will NEVER be able to compete successfully with Texas, in the world of Business/Commerce, though it will try, because Oklahoma’s biggest problem is that it is perpetually, it’s own worst enemy.

    1. It’s all tolerable till the ball coach had to jump in.
      We’re all used to the rest of the crap.

  14. Oklahoma never had a chance for the Tesla factory, for several reasons. Of course the main reason is just, Texas. You cannot compete with a godzilla that will gladly agree to forego any sort of tax revenue from Tesla for probably 50 years, banking only from the astronomically high property taxes Texas residents pay on their homes that more than make up for the fact they pay no state income taxes. The state has to make its money somewhere, and property taxes are where it’s at in Texas. In the end, the state of Texas will make money off of the people who work in the new Tesla factory instead of from Tesla itself.

    The second reason they chose Austin is, Oklahoma. If Tesla built their factory in Tulsa, or anywhere in Oklahoma, really, there is a 75% chance that the place will be blown off the map by a tornado, making any massive investment like the Tesla factory an enormous risk. That is the very reason Oklahoma City no longer has the GM plant. It was hit 3 times by tornadoes coming from Moore, almost destroyed each time, and eventually GM said “to hell with this” and left. A company simply cannot take that kind of risk each and every year, their stockholders will not allow it.

    1. Astronomically high property taxes? Hmm…I guess…what’s your definition of astronomically high? Me thinks you know not of what you speak.

      My 2019 property taxes in Texas were cheaper than my 2012 property taxes in Cleveland County (the year I moved from Norman to Austin).

    2. The property tax issue is Texas is very misunderstood by the people of Oklahoma who seem to believe property taxes make up for the no income tax in the state. Most of the time it is not. You have to look at the effective tax rate, and with some places in Oklahoma you are paying 10% sales tax on top of all the other taxes.

      It is a lot more complicated than that, as while Texas has no income tax, there are multiple sources that tax property, namely the county, and the school district where the property is located. County tax vary, as does school district, Harris county, which is Houston both are very high, plus values of homes based on location can also be exceptionally high.

      However say you are retired, or have a job where you can work from home and work for a company in Houston. You can find a really nice place say an hour from the office outside of Houston, not in Harris county, in a rural setting with much lower than Oklahoma County taxes, so your property taxes will be lower, plus to state income tax, so your taxes will be much lower than Oklahoma. Oh, and if you have kids and perhaps there is a high school you want them to go in Houston, you can send them there and pay a fee to the public school, and they can go. In effect you are paying the cost to send your child to a school where you aren’t paying for it in taxes.

      Texas has a diversified economy, Oklahoma doesn’t. Texas also doesn’t compete with themselves, meaning Houston doesn’t go after the same businesses who wish to relocate to Texas that Dallas is courting. There are multiple Oklahomas, Tulsa, Oklahoma City and rural area and each seem to believe they are the only part of Oklahoma.

      Sports fans might as well be rival gangs when it comes to OU and OSU. Friendly competition can be beneficial, but this winner take all, not so much.

      As far as GM moving, I think the government increasing their taxes from what was promised probably had more to do with their departure than the potential for tornadoes. The plant being less profitable than ones in other states had much more to do with the departure.

  15. All I know is I pay $150 per year in property taxes for my 2000 sq ft home in Dewey County, Oklahoma, while a friend in Dallas pays $3000 per year for the same size and vintage home down there. That’s astronomical by my definition. He pays no income tax while I pay around $3000 per year in Oklahoma state income taxes. That’s a wash. When a state gives up revenue from one stream, you can bet they are getting from another somewhere. I’m just saying the “no taxes” thing is just a ruse in the end.

    As for Texas being a more “diversified” economy, if you don’t or cannot attract new businesses and manufacturing, you cannot diversify your economy, you have to be able to start somewhere, and Oklahoma has done a bit of a better job at diversifying in recent years. The shiftand emphasis in focus to wind power in the energy sector is evident fro all the wind farms that have gone up and are still being built across the state, especially in western Oklahoma, where wind farms have enabled farmers and ranchers to make more money and be less reliant on fickle weather and droughts, which in turn enhances the revenue of smaller cities and towns. Diversification is occurring, albeit very slowly. Snagging the Tesla factory would have been a big step in the right direction, but as I said, you cannot compete with Texas when it comes time to grant benefits and deals to potential businesses. Oklahoma would have to give away the farm, so to speak, and never make any revenue off of Tesla and instead make revenue off of the workers.

    1. Dewey County? I looked that up, and the only town I’ve even heard of in Dewey County is Vici. I haven’t even heard of the other towns (Leedey, Taloga, Seiling)

      Seeing as how property taxes are based on the home’s assessed value…..something tells me that your 2,000 sq ft house in Dewey County is assessed much lower than your friend’s 2,000 sq ft house in Dallas. You’re comparing apples and oranges.

      In my comment above, my previous home in Norman was last assessed at approximately the same value as my home in the Austin area (one at 425 K and one at 450 K). Apples to apples.

  16. So I was told that Tesla picked Austin months ago; go figure. But it makes sense because his company was threatening to leave California last year because of the tremendous cost of living increase in California. Oklahoma has taken too long to develop, and this is still considered a WELFARE STATE. Our government is spending all the gaming income on who knows what, plus, our schools stink, and our economic infrastructure is still based on THE GOOD OLE BOY system. We’re lucky that we have an NBA team because initially, they were supposed to be in Kansas City, where Dorchester Capital’s main office was! It was a good try though……..

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