Gov. Joseph Sanchez, of Santa Ana Pueblo, checks out a Tesla Model Y, on display for the announcement of a new Tesla dealership being built on the Pueblo, Friday, October 7, 2022. (Eddie Moore/Journal)
Tesla is building a second store in New Mexico on Santa Ana Pueblo land, bypassing outdated state laws that ban direct-to-consumer sales. The collaboration will create jobs for locals, as well as give New Mexico residents the choice to purchase any vehicle of their choice near their homes.
A second Tesla store in New Mexico is being built on Santa Ana Pueblo land, tribe and company officials said Friday at a gala event. Tamaya Ventures, a corporation owned by the pueblo and the tribe's business unit, is partnering with the manufacturer to provide sales, service, and delivery of their vehicles to consumers. The 35,000-square-foot facility under construction at 5300 Jemez Canyon Dam will occupy four acres of land next to the Santa Ana Star Hotel and Casino, and is slated to open in May 2023, according to the Journal. The facility will also include a charging station. At the moment, the construction of the building has already begun.
“This just opens the door,” Santa Ana Gov. Joey Sanchez told the Journal. “This is just planting the seed into the future.”
Eleven of the 19 pueblo governors were present at the launch ceremony. Also in attendance were U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich and Rohan Patel, senior global director of public policy and business development at Tesla.
“We open up different factories and things all over the globe,” Patel said. “… We just haven’t been as excited and inspired for a project [as the Santa Ana project].”
The new location is the second in the state after the first store opened in Nambe Pueblo in September 2021. Outdated state laws prohibit manufacturers from selling direct-to-consumer cars. This creates difficulties for both manufacturers and customers, and the only winners are dealers who have high markups on the cars they sell. However, Nambé and Santa Ana pueblos do not have to follow the state law, so they opened their doors to Tesla.
“This is the time that we need to turn the page,” said Rich Luarkie, president and CEO of Tamaya Ventures. “We need to be true competitors and players in the state.”
The tribe will also benefit from this cooperation, as jobs and other opportunities will be created there. Tesla will initially train a small group of tribal members as service technicians, the first of several planned education and training programs. However, the manufacturer's store will provide work for both members of the tribe and people from nearby areas.
The goal of Tamaya Ventures, Luarkie said, is to “diversify the economic base for the tribe,” and bring in more STEAM—science, technology, engineering, arts, and manufacturing—jobs to the Santa Ana community.
© 2022, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.