Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors Inc. has surpassed Toyota as the largest automotive employer in the state of California, according to a report from Bloomberg. Tesla now employs more than 6,000 people in the state, putting it ahead of the world’s largest automaker by about 700 workers, a margin that is set to increase after the Japanese company announced it would move many jobs to Texas by 2017.
About 90 percent of all of Tesla’s employees worldwide work in California, the majority at its factory in Fremont, not far from San Francisco Bay. The 5.5 million square foot facility is the center of Tesla’s business operations and in addition to manufacturing the Model S sedan, will also build the company’s upcoming Model X SUV and rumored small car which would undercut the $72,000 Model S.
Tesla has plans to add another 500 workers by the end of the year to California. Additionally, if the company’s planned “gigafactory” is built in the state, which would be responsible for assembling its next-gen battery packs, another 6,500 jobs would be created. However, Musk is currently exploring other places for the factory to be built, citing the lengthy approval processes in California.
“Tesla’s scaling up here in California is terrific news,” Gino DiCaro, spokesman for the California Manufacturers & Technology Association, told Bloomberg. “It’s also an exception — and we certainly need more of them.”
The company is also planning to hire more workers to work at a former Chrysler parts distribution the company has acquired, Tesla spokesman Simon Sproule said. It is currently unknown what operations the site, which is located an hour east of Fremont, would perform in regards to Tesla’s business. No matter the plans for the site, the state is most likely just appreciative of the extra jobs it will create, seeing as it is neither inexpensive nor ideal to manufacture goods in California.