Sean Kouplen's Official Response to Tesla Announcement | Oklahoma Department of Commerce
Sean Kouplen

Sean Kouplen’s Official Response to Tesla Announcement

When it came to Tesla making a decision for its next Cybertruck factory location, Tulsa was always considered the underdog but we gave it our all. We truly believed we were going to be selected until the end.

The way the entire state rallied to try to persuade Tesla was absolutely amazing. Elon Musk said he had never seen anything like it before. It makes me very proud to be an Oklahoman.

Tesla evaluated numerous locations east of the Rocky Mountains, and Tulsa was chosen as one of two finalists. Each executive that visited our state was surprised and impressed, and they shared that the decision was a difficult one. This is a testament to Oklahoma’s amazing progress over the last 20 years. We definitely have something compelling to offer companies looking for a pro-business state with excellent quality of life and great value.

Now that we know Telsa has chosen to locate in Austin, Texas, we will actively pursue its supplier base to persuade them to locate in our state. Oklahoma is an ideal location for automotive companies and OEMs. We are centrally located and accessible by rail, road, and water. We have an amazing workforce and low cost of doing business.

Tesla will continue to grow and, when it is ready to reconsider Oklahoma for a future location, they will be welcomed with open arms. Texas was actually the runner-up to Reno, Nevada when Tesla selected their last U.S. Gigafactory location in September 2014, so they had many pre-existing relationships heading into this process. We did not know anyone at Tesla four months ago, but we have very strong relationships there now. We will take what we have learned from this process and continue swinging for the fences.

Oklahoma’s time is coming soon. We have received worldwide attention and 116 companies are considering relocation or expansion in our state right now. We stand ready to help the right company make a great decision to join our amazing state.

Thank you to Governor Stitt and Mayor Bynum for their outstanding leadership and accessibility during this process. I also want to thank our Tesla project team- Kian Kamas with the City of Tulsa, Jeff Stava with the George Kaiser Family Foundation and Jennifer Springer with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. Tesla commented that this was the most cooperative, organized economic development effort they have experienced.

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