Sanchez said Tesla, which previously leased warehouse space for a mobile repair unit in Santa Ana, approached the pueblo last year to discuss opening a store on its land. A group of tribal members will be trained by Tesla to work as service technicians, though the store is expected to also employ people from outside the pueblo.
Although efforts by some lawmakers to throw out New Mexico’s ban on direct sales have failed, the state legislature this year passed a bill that allows consumers to buy vehicles on tribal land without being double taxed.
“This wasn’t an easy road to bring the Tesla project to the pueblo,” said Glenn Tenorio, chairman of Tamaya Ventures, the business arm of Santa Ana’s Tamaya tribe.
“But the fruits of our labor have become a reality.”