June 15, 2020 / 6:29 PM / 22 days ago

Tesla negotiating incentives for possible Texas vehicle assembly plant -report

June 15 (Reuters) - Electric carmaker Tesla Inc is negotiating possible incentives with a Texas county that could bring a new auto assembly plant to the area near Austin, the state capital, the Austin American-Statesman reported on Monday.

Travis County Commissioners Court is scheduled to discuss terms of the deal on Tuesday, the paper reported, citing people with knowledge of the situation. A vote is expected in the coming weeks.

The paper said it was unclear whether the negotiations with Travis County show that Tesla has picked the Austin region as the site for the plant, which would build the company’s electric pickup truck and Model Y SUV, or if the company is also negotiating with officials in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Tesla officials could not immediately be reached to comment. The company’s chief executive, Elon Musk, has tweeted previously about the possibility of bringing a plant to Texas. Oklahoma also has been mentioned as a possible site the plant.

Travis County officials declined to comment, and a spokesman for the Texas governor’s office did not immediately have a comment.

Last month, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he had spoken with Musk about a potential plant.

Abbott’s comments came three days after Musk had threatened to move Tesla’ headquarters and future operations to Texas or Nevada after officials in California’s Alameda County, where Tesla’s only U.S. vehicle assembly plant is located, said the plant could not yet reopen because of coronavirus lockdown measures. The plant has since reopened.

Musk is no stranger to Texas. His SpaceX spacecraft manufacturer has a launch site in the southern tip of the state near the village of Boca Chica.

In addition to its vehicle plant in California, Tesla has a battery plant in Sparks, Nevada, and a factory in Buffalo, New York, that produces solar panels and other energy generation and storage products. (Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit and Brad Brooks in Austin, Texas; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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