Apr 4, 2014 9:21 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Tucson makes case to lure Tesla Motors' $5 Billion giga-factory

TUCSON - Local leaders and community members are making an online campaign push to convince Tesla Motors to bring its $5 billion battery factory to Arizona, producing more than 6,500 jobs in the region.

The Downtown Innovation District developed a video as a love letter from Tucson to Tesla.

"We are pioneers like our ancestors before us," the video states, adding: "Making our fortune in digital frontier unencumbered by the status quo of the coasts."

Arizona is one of four states vying for the giga-factory. Nevada, Texas and New Mexico are also finalists in the selection process.

Tony Ford, of the Downtown Innovation District, hopes Tucson's identity as a pioneer town should appeal to Tesla Motors.

"Culture matters. Community matters. It's just as important as the logistics and the tax incentives," Ford said.

Tucson Councilman Steve Kozachik helped pass a resolution to embrace Tesla. However, he told News 4 Tucson that regional leaders should have joined forces quicker in coming up with a plan to convince Tesla that Tucson is the right place for its endeavors.

"Far too often we get the county competing with the city and saying that TREO has to lead it and the Chamber isn't playing well and all the competing players aren't sitting down together and cooperating - that has been our economic development Achilles heel forever in this region," Kozachik said.

Tesla Motors has not officially commented on the selection process. However, city leaders want to make it clear that Tucson is a future player in the tech industry.


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