They say flattery will get you everywhere, but uh…
On Wednesday, the Tesla Owners Club of Oklahoma and Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum unveiled a 75-foot-tall statue painted to resemble Tesla CEO Elon Musk. They modified Tulsa’s landmark Golden Driller statue, which was erected in 1966 and adopted as the state monument in 1979. “Golden Elon” is the city’s latest ploy to woo the electric car manufacturer into building its new Gigafactory there.
“Tulsa is a city that doesn’t stifle entrepreneurs — we revere them!” Bynum boasted on Twitter. “Golden Elon Musk is now the 6th-tallest statue in the United States.”
Earlier this week, numerous outlets (citing an anonymous source familiar with the matter) reported Tulsa and Austin, Texas, were finalists in Tesla’s hunt for a second U.S. assembly plant location. The factory purportedly comes with the promise of 10,000 new jobs.
“While I cannot comment on potential projects, it is clear that Tesla and Tulsa were forged in the same spirit,” Bynum said in a statement last week. “Both founded by pioneers who dreamt big and made it happen. Both trying to change the world with a new kind of energy. Both investing big in what matters most: people.”
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt echoed Bynum’s sentiments: “To Elon Musk and Tesla, the people of Oklahoma love our trucks, we love our rockets, and we would love to partner with you here in our great state. As a Tulsan myself, I can tell you that confusing the names Tulsa and Tesla has happened more than once, so it would only be appropriate to have a Tesla factory right here.”
The statue, which has previously been used as a billboard for local businesses and charities, won’t stay Musk-ified forever. (In an interview with Tulsa Channel 8, Kurt Stenstrom, the brand strategist behind Golden Elon, commented that the statue’s face had been protectively wrapped in plastic.)
But the city’s other efforts could be more lasting.
On Sunday, Bynum suggested Tulsa’s local police force would consider switching their patrol cars for a fleet of Cybertrucks. At least those won’t have a face. Probably.