ELON MUSK: 'DOWNEY IS AWESOME' (Photo: Brian Solis, http://www.briansolis.com and bub.blicio.us.)


Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has written a letter to City of Downey officials (title: “Downey Is Awesome”) that is apparently intended to soothe their feelings (typical reaction: we were “stabbed in the back”) after he stunned them with his May 20 announcement that his company would not be manufacturing cars in their town. 

The letter, written for Musk’s personal blog, was e-mailed to city staff members and council members Saturday, two days after news broke that Tesla would build a Model S assembly plant in Fremont.  In the letter,  Musk says he was prepared to build his plant in Downey before Toyota came forward with its $50 million offer, which was finalized Wednesday (May 19) night.  The letter does not reveal how long Tesla and Toyota had been in talks. Musk also recommends Downey “for any company [that] is considering a place for a major operation,” and says he will consider Downey when he needs to expand SpaceX or starts an electric jet venture.

Here, on the site of the Downey Patriot, is the full text of Musk’s letter:

Also, Musk and Downey officials were interviewed on Monday by Warren Olney on KCRW’s, “Which Way, L.A.?”

  1. raging granny
    May 25, 2010 at 8:44 am

  2. Juan Pardell
    May 25, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Although Tesla’s decision was not popular, they have no accountability to the residents of Downey, Fremont or Long Beach. They are a private sector business and make decisions based upon what will best serve their shareholders. Building their vehicles at the former NUMMI plant makes sense. The costs to retool the factory will be much less than building a factory from scratch.

  3. May 25, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Juan Pardell, you are awesome—have a bitchen summer!

  4. lbcitygirl
    May 25, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Wow! Look at this related article I found:
    Insurance Commissioner Candidate Padilla Commends Tesla For Dropping Plans To Build At Downey – Call For Poizner To Pursue Criminal Fraud Charges Against Lichter
    Posted on 05/22/2010 by katy

    “California Insurance Commissioner candidate Dina Padilla commended Tesla Electric Motors Inc. for it’s decision not to build a government subsidized electric car plant at the contaminated toxic dump site in Downey, California. “As you are aware Downey developer Stuart Lichter sued me for publicizing the ongoing health and safety problems of workers at the Downey Movie Studios and the Kaiser Downey Hospital.” “I think Tesla recognized that it would be doing a disservice to their own workers to build on a site where there is a continuing problem of illnesses caused by the failure of developer Stuart Lichter to properly clean up the site.”

    read more at http://bit.ly/cyUZaw.

    • howardx
      May 25, 2010 at 5:32 pm

      theres a story for you dave, good find lbcg.

      • May 25, 2010 at 6:37 pm

        Thanks, HowardX–can I get you some coffee and a pastry while you’re waiting?

        • Starsucks
          May 25, 2010 at 11:18 pm

          I’ll have a low-fat, half-decaf, 1-pump hazelnut, venti no-foam, latte and a cheese danish please.

      • lbcitygirl
        May 25, 2010 at 8:00 pm

        Mandingo, sir!

        • lbcitygirl
          May 25, 2010 at 8:01 pm

          LOL…that was meant for HowardX, not you Dave!

          • sumbodiswatchingewe
            June 3, 2010 at 11:56 am

            Mandingo? Is HowardX really that well endowed? Do tell!

  5. Juan Pardell
    May 25, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Thanks Dave. Let me know when the Long Beach movie studios get built.

    • May 25, 2010 at 9:25 pm

      You sound a little doubtful, Juan.

      • Juan Pardell
        May 26, 2010 at 8:24 pm

        Well, considering the words spoken last November by the man behind the movie studios project, Jack O’Halloran, when he stated, “These holidays don’t help,” he said the day before Thanksgiving. “With the grace of God, we’ll have it done before the 10th of December,” why would anyone feel doubtful?

  6. guest
    May 26, 2010 at 2:27 am

    If Downey is “awesome,” pray tell how does he describe the Grand Canyon? I’d like to see that darn word banned. Contrary to popular belief, neither it nor the F-word are all-purpose adjectives. Get a vocabulary, willya? (And I made the awesome-bitchen connection too– but I hear it coming from Jeff Spiccoli! (sp))

    Hey, even tho’ I never really got to know you, stay as sweet as you are and see you in 10th.

  1. August 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm

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