Tesla Motors, the California-based electric carmaker that seeks to expand operations has now leased an inactive parts-distribution unit located in rural California and now plans to employ engineers and technicians to operate it.
According to Steve Salvatore, the Lathrop, California city manager, the automaker has been given building permits to alter a 431,000-square-foot (40,000 square meters) industrial facility there – with Tesla’s website now showing 32 open positions at the unit in northern California.
“They’ve pulled building permits for building modifications and I believe some sort of manufacturing equipment is being installed,” Salvatore said.
“Tesla is continuing to invest and create jobs in California as part of our ongoing infrastructure expansion,” the company said in a statement. “In the last two months, we have signed leases for more than 625,000 square feet of Californian real estate, independent of sales and service centers. These recent investments reinforce our commitment to California and will help us continue to bring compelling electric vehicles to market at affordable prices.”
The plant was in the past used by Chrysler’s Mopar unit as a parts-distribution center. Now, Tesla is also assessing four locations – in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas – for its future battery “gigafactory”. The plant would need an assessed investment of around $5 billion, would have renewable power sources and would eventually hire as much as 6,500 people.