Officials in suburban Detroit have signed off on Tesla Inc. opening what is being described as a unique EV research, testing, repair and maintenance facility.
The automaker headed up by Elon Musk has started work on the building in Southfield, Mich., as it adds about 7,000 square feet to the existing structure to create a 34,500-square-foot property, said Terry Croad, Southfield's planning director.
"I've been told (by Tesla representatives) that it's the first one in Michigan and the next closest one is Chicago," Croad said. "It's supposed to be able to handle 60 to 80 customers a week. There's gonna be a lot of software updates. It's not going to be your grandfather's bump shop because of the sophistication of the chips and software. This is unique."
It's unclear precisely what differentiates the Southfield center from a service center in Clarkston that opened in 2020, or one in Grand Rapids that opened in 2021.
An email was sent to Justin Haasch, Tesla's director of North American real estate, and a voicemail was left with Kayvon Rafiee, the Tesla representative who is working on the project with the city.
Southfield officials had to approve a minor zoning amendment because electric vehicle uses in that automotive-centered corridor had not been written into city codes. Those approvals took place in September and October, Croad said.