Tesla plans grand opening party for Austin gigafactory in April
If you were hoping to peek inside Tesla‘s $1.1 billion manufacturing plant in the Austin area, you might have an opportunity this spring.
The automaker plans to hold a grand opening party on April 7 for the plant in southeast Travis County, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter on Saturday. Musk responded to a tweet asking about the long-awaited event, first saying it would be April 1, but later clarifying the date.
In December, Musk said the factory — which the company dubbed Giga Texas — would hold a grand opening party in early 2022, but gave few details and no date.
Little has since been leaked about what people can expect from the grand opening, but Musk has previously said the company will hold factory tours for the public.
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The event could be similar to the Giga Fest the company hosted at its new Berlin factory, which included music, food, games and an appearance by Musk.
Construction has advanced rapidly since Musk announced in July 2020 that he had chosen the Travis County site for the facility. Tesla received tax breaks from Travis County and the Del Valle School District valued at more than $60 million combined to build the plant. Musk said he could eventually employ 10,000 workers.
In October, the company announced that it was moving its headquarters to Austin. Company filings in December revealed the headquarters was on the same site as the company’s manufacturing facility, where Tesla owns more than 2,000 acres.
Earlier this year, the company confirmed that it had started producing its Model Y SUV at the site, and it announced that it would eventually produce its Cybertruck, Semi and Model 3 compact sedans there.
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The start of production came as the company reported record profits in 2021 and recorded record shipment numbers. Tesla delivered 936,000 vehicles for the year, nearly double its 2020 numbers. Austin is expected to play a key role in coming years as the company seeks to continue ramping up production.
“After a banner year, we are focused on the future: Texas and Berlin,” Musk said in January. “It’s worth noting that, as the internet has observed, we’ve made quite a few cars in Texas.”
Texas and Austin are increasingly becoming centers of activity for Musk and his companies. In 2020, he announced he had moved to Texas to be closer to the gigafactory site and South Texas operations of SpaceX, the aerospace company he runs.
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Musk quietly expanded his other businesses in the central Texas region, though the companies gave few details about their operations. This includes his tunnel and infrastructure construction company, the Boring Co., which has facilities in Pflugerville and Bastrop; a potential Austin SpaceX office; a potential Neuralink desktop; and the headquarters of his private foundation, the Musk Foundation.