Tesla says “no deal” to Martinez’s closed-door negotiations; Manufacturing incentives Martinez touted land flat

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Susana Martinez’s job creation record got even worse Wednesday afternoon.  With just 60-days until Election Day, securing the Tesla gigafactory would been a big boost to her New Mexico under her watch:

Landing Tesla could mean 6,500 new jobs for New Mexico and Governor Susana Martinez says the state is on a good footing to compete for the brand that could give a huge boost to the state’s economy. – KRQE, March 2014

Susana Martinez Down Loss Graph


Instead, this news just in from USA Today:

Tesla will build battery ‘Gigafactory’ in Nevada

3:46 p.m. EDT/1:46 p.m. MDT  September 3, 2014

Tesla Motors, the electric car maker, is planning to build its giant battery Gigafactory in Nevada after a five-state competition, a source who asked not to be identified confirms.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has called press conference Thursday in Nevada’s capitol in Carson City where the deal is expected to be announced.

The plant has been one of the nation’s most highly sought projects among state economic development officials. Tesla, which has partnered with Japan’s Panasonic, plans to spend $4 billion to $5 billion on the project and employ up to 6,500. The plant will make advanced batteries expected to power Tesla’s next generation of electric cars.

Tesla recently confirmed that it has been excavating on a site near Reno, but stopped short of saying that it would be the site of the giant plant. The announcement, however, comes after a weekend in which California’s legislature adjourned without acting on a bill that could have delivered economic incentives to try to lure Tesla into building its plant in the Golden State.

Besides Nevada and California, other states named as finalists for the project included Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.


Democrats including Sens. Tim Keller & Jacob Candelaria fought for Martinez to convene a special session of the legislature to consider economic incentives Tesla requested.  Nevada, the winning state, publicly announced plans to do just that.  Martinez rejected the idea as a political stunt and instead opted to negotiate with Tesla behind closed doors.

Gov. office: Special session for Tesla would be political stunt

Luring Tesla would have also been seen as vindication of her tax reforms which rewarded out-of-state corporations with tax benefits not available to Main Street businesses.

After signing her signature job creation bill, Martinez announced that New Mexico was “in the game” and Tesla’s interest proved it:

New Mexico is competitive in business and is no longer at the bottom of the variety of lists it seems to often land on.

This was the message Monday from Gov.Susana Martinez to a sold-out NAIOP-NM luncheon full of hundreds of real estate executives, business leaders and elected officials…

She touted the balanced budget, education reform and legislation that has or will spur job creation. Whether Tesla will bring its Gigafactory to New Mexico was on the minds of many in the crowd.

“We’re in the game now. We’re competing,” Martinez said.

Business groups did not respond with such enthusiasm.  A 2014 study by Ball State University, created after the governor’s signature tax reforms, gave the state a D- as a place for manufacturers:

New Mexico will see little manufacturing expansion due to poor logistics, global positioning and human capital,” said the report, which was prepared by Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research. “New Mexico received F grades in logistics industry, global position, human capital and diversification categories,” said CBER Director Michael Hicks.

“Taken together, New Mexico should expect minimal manufacturing expansion in the years to come.” – NM Biz Journals, June 12, 2014