Tesla Welcomes 15,000 People to Invitation-Only Party at New Billion-Dollar ‘Gigafactory’ in Austin

by Suzanne Halliburton

Elon Musk threw a Texas-themed party for 15,000 of his closest electric-car-loving friends to celebrate the opening of his new Tesla gigafactory. The new $1 billion complex is as big as 100 soccer fields. Meanwhile, there also were the Musk claims it’s as large as three Pentagons.

“This building is the most advanced car factory that Earth has ever seen,” Musk proclaimed, according to KXAN.

At a Glance

  • Elon Musk moved Tesla’s corporate HQ because the company needed a place to be “really big”
  • Analysts suggest the economic impact of the gigafactory could mean 10K jobs
  • Musk’s EV company plans to build multiple different Tesla models at the new location

So where in the world is this gigafactory? Musk built it in a southeast chunk of Travis County, outside of Austin, and moved the Tesla corporate headquarters from California. For context, its neighbor is Circuit of the Americas, the racetrack that hosts Formula One and NASCAR events.

And by Friday, Tesla already was speaking Texan in its social media posts. After all, it showed off a video of one of its new cars juxtaposed with scenes of a woman riding a horse. The caption? “Giga Texas y’all.”

Musk Sported Perfect Texas Look for His Tesla GigaFactory Party

If you were one of the lucky 15,000 invitees, dress for the party was Texas business casual. That’s why Musk sported a dark T-shirt, cowboy hat, and denim jeans to his own shindig. Maybe the dark shades were a California touch. He greeted the throngs of folks and gave them his version of a Tesla rodeo. People walking into the Tesla Gigafactory Party gawked at a giant silver cowboy boot and hat hovering outside.

 “We needed a place where we could be really big,” Musk told the crowd. “And there’s no place like Texas.”

(Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images)

Tesla Likely to Give Central Texas Billions in Economic Impact

So let’s talk about what everyone wanted to celebrate. That’s the factory. It’s expected to employ up to 10,000 people and will build the Cybertruck, Semi, Model 3, and Model Y sport utility vehicles. 

Getting Tesla up and running in Texas was a quick turnaround. After all, Musk, the world’s richest person, announced in July 2020 that he was planning a factory outside Austin. By this past January, Tesla confirmed that it already had started building its Model Y SUV at the factory.

Analyst Calls Tesla Presence ‘Significant’ for Texas

It’s not hyperbolic to suggest that Thursday’s Tesla Gigafactory party was a huge show-off for Musk. Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives also said the event was a big moment for Tesla.

“It’s significant. It’s a historical event for Tesla,” Ives told the Austin American-Statesman. He added, “It’s important from a production perspective with Model Y production and also doubling down on its U.S. footprint.

“Austin for Tesla is not just its headquarters for tax status,” Ives said. “It’s where more and more of its DNA of Tesla is going to be gathered. The rodeo signifies really a new beginning for Tesla in Austin.”

Musk treated his guests to live music, carnival games, and art installations. There were cars and plenty of food and adult beverages. But since it’s Texas, the party needed to end with a massive fireworks show.

Fireworks display at the Tesla GigaFactory Party (SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, you needed to have an invitation to come inside. Musk didn’t even allow reporters to cover the event inside the factory. But there was a livestream of the festivities beamed out to Musk’s millions of followers.

Tesla received millions in tax incentives to build the factory outside Austin. And it’s estimated that the economic impact for Central Texas could be in the billions this year. Now that’s something to celebrate.