Downey steps up wooing of Tesla

DOWNEY - With Tesla Motors expected to make a decision soon on a location for a new assembly and production plant - and Downey a known finalist for the plant - city officials are leaving no stone unturned in their recruitment efforts.The city paid $9,974 for a half-page, full-color advertisement in Monday's Los Angeles Times. In the ad, which appeared on page B9 of the Business section, the entire Downey City Council is shown wearing T-shirts that say "Downey ‚ô• Tesla" while holding a banner that reads "Downey Welcomes Tesla Motors - Apollo to Tesla - the legacy continues..." The ad also includes an open letter to Tesla CEO Elon Musk. In it, the Council sells Downey as "a nimble, innovative, well run city" and invites Tesla "to be a part of the Downey legacy of innovation… a truly American experience." Tesla Motors received nearly half a billion dollars in U.S. government loans this summer to begin mass production of the Model S, an all-electric sedan capable of driving 300 miles on a 45-minute charge. According to its website, Tesla expects to begin vehicle delivery in 2011. Approximately 90 acres at Downey Studios is available for Tesla if Musk chooses to build an assembly plant in Downey. Musk is reportedly also considering a former Boeing plant in Long Beach. On Monday, all five Downey City Council members boarded a city bus for Hawthorne-based SpaceX, a space technology company headed by Musk. The Council delivered a large gift basket filled with NASA books and artifacts, a testament to Downey's aerospace history. Mayor Mario Guerra said the basket also included an official city pen. "It's for Mr. Musk to sign the deal with Downey," Guerra said.

********** Published: September 18, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 22