Tesla Motors Inc. has leased a 431,000-square-foot idled parts-distribution center in Lathrop, California as pushes through with its expansion plans. Steve Salvatore, Lathrop’s city manager, told Bloomberg News in a phone interview that they have already granted building permits to modify the center.
Salvatore said that he believes that Tesla is installing “some sort” of manufacturing equipment at the center. Tesla’s Web site shows openings for 32 positions at the site.
The recruitment campaign for the Lathrop site comes as Tesla is evaluating locations in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas for its planned “gigafactory” that will build batteries for its electric cars and battery packs to store power from rooftop solar panels.
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has said that the site will need up $5 billion in investments to build. The site is planned to employ up to 6,500 workers. Lathrop is located around an hour east of both Tesla’s base in Palo Alto and its assembly site in Fremont.
Tesla said in an e-mailed statement that it is continuing to invest and create jobs in California as part of it ongoing infrastructure expansion. The electric carmaker said that in the past two months, it has signed leases for over 625,000 square feet of Californian real estate, independent of sales and service centers.
Tesla said the recent investments boost its commitment to California and will help them continue to offer compelling EVs at affordable prices. The Lathrop site was previously a parts-distribution center used by Chrysler’s Mopar division.