Tesla wouldn’t expect to oppose A’s stadium near auto plant

tesla2Tesla CEO Elon Musk (photographed left) said today that  Tesla wouldn’t expect to oppose development — including a major league ballpark — on the remainder of the NUMMI site.

Here’s what he said:

“Tesla doesn’t have any objection as long as it doesn’t impact production of vehicles, which I don’t think a ballpark would.”

He added that a shopping center and offices also shouldn’t be any problem. Housing, on the other hand, could be an issue. “I wonder if it might be annoying (for residents) to have an auto plant in their back yard.”

The key for Tesla production  is maintaining access the rail corridor, Musk said.

So it seems that Toyota will sell the plant to Tesla and still be able to sell the vacant land north of the plant to developers.

Other tidbits:

  • Tesla and Toyota first discussed the deal six weeks ago, during which time Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda visited Musk’s home and took a Tesla test drive. The deal was consumated yesterday
  • Tesla plans to start producing cars (about 20,000 a yer) in 2012
  • Tesla is neutral on organized labor. It wouldn’t fight union activity
  • The state is giving Tesla a break on sales tax for purchasing plant equipment.

Tesla is coming to Fremont

teslaTesla is going to make electric cars at the NUMMI site. Apparently, it’ll create 800 to 1,200 jobs. Press conference 5 p.m. at Tesla Headquarters in Palo Alto.

“We’ll be very happy to have the first electric cars here,” Mayor Wasserman said.

By the way, the mayor says he can’t attend the news conference. Standing in for him will be? 

You guessed it,  Councilmember Bob Wieckowski. Good timing for him.


Associated Press Writer


LOS ANGELES (AP) — An official who’s been negotiating with Tesla Motors Inc. to open an auto factory in Downey says the carmaker has chosen to partner with Toyota to build electric cars at the former NUMMI plant in Fremont.

Downey Councilman Mario Guerra says Tesla CEO Elon Musk called him Thursday to announce the decision.

A call to Tesla has not been immediately returned. However, Tesla is planning a 5 p.m. news conference with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at its Palo Alto office. Neither side has said what will be discussed.

A Toyota spokesman declined to comment.

Guerra says the Downey City Council was about to vote on a lease deal with Tesla. He says Musk was apologetic that the deal fell through.


Huge Tesla/NUMMI Rumor

Tesla and Toyota are going to make a major announcement this afternoon about building cars in California. That has Fremont officials calling the governor’s office trying to find out if that car production is slated for the NUMMI plant.

Mayor Wasserman said the city hasn’t gotten any answers yet. City staffers have said the same thing.

Here’s the blurb from the Chronicle:

Toyota, Tesla teaming up in California, governor says

Thursday, May 20, 2010

(05-20) 12:34 PDT Sacramento

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said today that Palo Alto-based Tesla Motors Inc., will partner with Toyota to build electric cars in California.

The governor is scheduled to attend a “major announcement” with Tesla executives later this afternoon but said at an unrelated event at Google earlier today that the two companies would begin working together.


Fremont unions respond to unpaid leave demand

So it looks like Fremont’s plan to save $1.8 million is to close City Hall for the last two weeks of 2010. That would result in six day of lost wages for non-sworn employees, because they are already scheduled for two paid vacation days both weeks corresponding to Christmas and New Years.

Police and Fire would have to stagger their unpaid leave, but it would still equal 48 hours of no work and no pay.

I talked briefly to the heads of three unions.

Terry Wong, who heads the Fremont Association of City employees seemed resigned to it. “We’re not happy about it,” he said. “I suppose it’s better than additional layoffs.

Kathy Cote, who heads the union representing managers and who will be quoted in tomorrow’s paper, kind of defended it.

“It’s certainly less impactful on city employees than laying of permanent staff,” she said.

I actually had to tweak her quote for the paper because in turns out “impactful” is not a word. Still, it was fun to hear a union leader use management jargon.

Gregg Pipp of the Police Officers Association said it was too early to comment, but made it clear that the union first wanted to look over the city’s finances before agreeing to anything. He said officers ended up taking a 1.1 percent hourly pay cut this past year because they’re working slightly longer for the same pay.


New Haven honors its staff

Last night, the New Haven school district recognized its Teacher of the Year and its Classified Employee of the Year.

Mikey McKelveyThe Teacher of the Year is Mikey McKelvey, who teaches seventh-grade at Alvarado Middle School.

She’s served as a Writers Workshop coach, literacy coordinator, curriculum leader and department head and is on the school site council. She’s also a National Board certified teacher in English and social science/history.

McKelvey has taught in New Haven for 18 years, the majority of which has been spent at AMS.


Lenora MatthewsOn the classified side, Lenora Matthews was named Classified Employee of the Year.

Matthews has worked at Searles Elementary for four years, supervising recesses and organizing lunch and recess schedules, as well as the supervisors’ schedules. She also mentors students in the PALS program and serves on the Building Effective Schools Together (BEST) team.


Fremont’s new top 20 employers

With no more NUMMI, the school district tops the list

  1. Fremont Unified
  2. Washington Hospital
  3. Boston Scientific/Target
  4. Western Digital
  5. Seagate
  6. AXT Incorporated
  7. Lam Research
  8. Oplink Communications
  9. City of Fremont
  10. Solyndra
  11. Sysco Food Services
  12. Synnex
  13. Kaiser Permanente
  14. Palo Alto Medical Foundation
  15. Quanta Computer
  16. ESS Technology
  17. Mattson Technology
  18. Sanmina -SCI
  19. 3 Par Data
  20. Office Depot

Source: City of Fremont


Fremont definitely keeping its fire department

City Manager Fred Diaz was asked yesterday if Fremont might consider following Newark and Union City’s lead in scrapping it’s fire department and contracting out fire services from Alameda County.

Diaz answered with an emphatic “No.” He said he’s seen situations in which counties offer cities favorable contracts for fire services, but then jack up the prices in future years so that cities end up with the same costs but without local control of the department.


Fremont News of the Day / A bit more on Target

fremont_news_linkNetflix axes 160 workers at Fremont office.

Former Fremont cop is could be new CoCo County sheriff.

I wrote a story about Target opening shop in Pacific Commons in 2011, but I guess it got held. Target wouldn’t say anything. However, I did talk to a Newark official who gave me his take on whether they think Target will in NewPark Mall.

He said that Target is moving away from two-story stores and mall stores, so he didn’t expect Target to stick around long-term. But, he said Target owned the site, so he didn’t think the chain would leave anytime soon given that they’d have to sell the land or find a tenant.