NAMBE, N.M. (KRQE) – A first of its kind partnership, a Tesla plant is set to open up shop on a sovereign Pueblo. State leaders are applauding the deal between Tesla and Nambe Pueblo. The governor of the Pueblo calls Thursday a historic moment that will make a lasting impact.
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“This location will not only create permanent jobs but it is also part of a long-term relationship with Tesla. As the company is working with the Pueblo of Nambe to provide education and training opportunities for tribal members as well as economic development,” said Gov. of Nambe Pueblo Phillip Perez.
The clean energy company is planning to repurpose an old casino in Nambe into its first sales service and delivery center in New Mexico. Senators Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan are excited about Tesla’s move to the state saying it’s a great example of investment in clean energy and rural America.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is also applauding the move saying it highlights the state’s commitment to low-emission and zero-emission vehicles. There is also a private group of New Mexico citizens who have been working toward bringing Tesla to the state since 2015.
“On behalf of the 536 club members as well as countless New Mexicans planning to be Tesla owners but who have been waiting in the wings for news of an in-state facility for sales, service and delivery, I’d like to express thanks and gratitude first, eternal thanks,” said Brian Dear, founder of Tesla Owners of New Mexico.
Now, there is a law on the books in the state that prohibits vehicle manufacturers from selling directly to consumers as Tesla does. State law forces car buyers to go through independent dealerships. Some lawmakers have tried to repeal that rule in the past but it failed. It is not clear if building a facility on sovereign Pueblo land is Tesla’s way around that law. Twenty-three other states have similar laws.
KRQE News 13 did reach out to the New Mexico Auto Dealers Association for their thoughts on the partnership but they declined to comment at this time.