Tesla Motors, Builder of State-of-the-Art Electric Vehicles: Welcomed to Downey

The planning application, submitted jointly by the property owner and Tesla, requests the city approve a subdivision of the property and determines if the proposed assembly plant is in compliance with the Downey Landing Specific Plan. Staff is confident that the proposed use is expressly allowed under the current specific plan for the property. The determination of conformity will be made by city staff, while the proposed subdivision will be approved by the Planning Commission.

“The City of Downey is extremely pleased to be able to begin the official review process for Tesla Motors,” Mayor Anne Bayer said when hearing an application had been received. Mayor Bayer went on to say, “Although a lot of work and a few approvals still stand between now and the first electric car being built on the site, having city staff officially working on the project is a major step forward.”

Considering the routine nature of the requested actions, staff estimates both the subdivision and determination will occur within six to eight weeks.

Considering the impact the project would have in southeast Los Angeles County, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, who represents Downey, has been following the Tesla project with much interest.

Upon hearing the news, the Congresswoman said, "I commend Tesla Motors on its decision to build its state-of-the-art electric vehicle assembly plant in Downey and I look forward to the day when the plant’s 1,200 new high tech jobs become available to area residents. In selecting Downey to build these revolutionary vehicles, Tesla showed the same vision as our early aerospace leaders who also chose Downey to build the Apollo capsules and shuttles that made our nation a leader in space exploration. By being at the forefront of our nation’s effort to create new environmentally-friendly electric vehicles, this great city that played a critical role in the success of our space program will once again make history.”

Tesla Motors will be utilizing $365 million in low-interest loans from the U.S. Department of Energy for the manufacturing and assembly of the Model S, an all-electric family sedan that carries seven people and travels up to 300 miles per charge. The federal loans are part of the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program, which provides incentives to new and established automakers to build more fuel-efficient vehicles. Tesla intends on assembling its Model S sedan at the Downey facility.

Tesla hires Fiat strategist to head European operations

Cristiano Carlutti will serve as Vice President of European Sales and Operations for world’s leading electric vehicle maker.

Tesla Motors has hired former Fiat executive Cristiano Carlutti to lead the electric vehicle manufacturer’s fast-growing European operations.

Carlutti, who began this week as Tesla’s vice president of European sales and operations, has a unique background encompassing sales, marketing, branding and public relations. He has lead mission-critical divisions at Fiat, served as CEO of an Italian start-up and served on the organizing committee of the XX Winter Olympic Games.

“Cristiano has a solid track record of success at one of the world’s largest automakers and an affinity for leading dynamic, entrepreneurial organizations — a rare combination that makes him a great fit at Tesla as we expand," said Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Carlutti first joined Fiat in 1995 as a marketing analyst and rose to the vice president level, most recently overseeing the strategy and operations of the rent-a-car and used car department for European markets. Carlutti was also in charge of a €150 million program which established a network of company-owned showrooms throughout Europe.

Additionally, Carlutti served on the Organizing Committee of the XX Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy. As managing director of media operations for the 2006 games, Carlutti helped to create and manage a €13 million media operation with 20 venues serving more than 3,000 journalists.

Previously, Carlutti was CEO of Autocontact Italia, where he was in charge of reselling and servicing more than 90,000 vehicles per year. He lead the organization’s marketing and branding initiatives for manufacturers including Fiat, Renault, Peugeot, Daimler and BMW.

"Europe has some of the world’s most discerning drivers as well as progressive programs for electric vehicles, making Tesla uniquely well positioned in this market," Carlutti said. "I look forward to combining my automobile industry expertise with my passion for the environment, and it’s thrilling to be part of this innovative, fast-moving Silicon Valley company."

San Carlos, Calif.-based Tesla has delivered about 1,000 cars to customers throughout Europe and the United States. Tesla’s European operations are headquartered in Windsor, UK. Tesla operates company-owned showrooms in London, Munich and Monaco.

Carlutti, who has a degree in business administration from the University Luigi Bocconi in Milan, is fluent in English, French and Italian, and he has lived in Germany, Russia, Ireland and the United States.
About Tesla Motors

Tesla Motors is the world’s only automaker selling highway-capable electric vehicles. Tesla sells cars online and operates showrooms and galleries in London, Munich, Monaco, California’s Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, Colorado, New York, Seattle, Chicago and South Florida. The company’s goal is to produce increasingly affordable cars to mainstream buyers – relentlessly driving down the cost of EVs.

The all-electric Tesla Roadster accelerates faster than an Audi R8 yet produces zero tailpipe emissions, qualifying it for tax credits and fee waivers throughout Europe and North America. The Roadster does not need regular oil changes or exhaust system work. Roadsters have no spark plugs, pistons, hoses, belts or clutches to replace. Tesla recommends a standard service and diagnostic inspection once a year – and Tesla can perform service with convenient “house calls” at customers’ homes or offices.