Panasonic will stop making solar products at the Tesla plant in Buffalo

State News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Empire State Development Chair Howard Zemsky says they understand Panasonic decided to move away from global solar products.

But while their operations were co-located at RiverBend where Tesla is, there was no incentive package between the state and Panasonic, Zemsky added. It will also have no bearing on Tesla’s current operations nor its commitment to Buffalo and the state, according to Tesla.

“We understand that Panasonic has made a corporate decision to move away from global solar products, but this action has no bearing on Tesla’s current operations nor its commitment to Buffalo and New York State, according to Tesla,” the ESD Chair said in a statement to News 4.

Zemsky says the State Department of Labor is on standby to ensure employees impacted by Panasonic’s decision have opportunities and resources available.

Telsa indicated to Empire State Development it intends to hire as many Panasonic employees as it can going forward.

The company also told ESD they not only met but exceeded their next hiring commitment in Buffalo.

Tesla says they have more than 1,500 jobs in Buffalo and more than 300 others across the state.

Empire State Development says they will do their due diligence to confirm Tesla’s data.

Read Zemsky’s full statement below:

Tesla informed us that they have not only met, but exceeded their next hiring commitment in Buffalo. As of today, Tesla said they have more than 1,500 jobs in Buffalo and more than 300 others across New York State. ESD will perform the necessary due diligence to verify the company’s data.This count does not include the Panasonic positions and — while their operations were co-located at RiverBend — there was no incentive package between the state and Panasonic. We understand that Panasonic has made a corporate decision to move away from global solar products, but this action has no bearing on Tesla’s current operations nor its commitment to Buffalo and New York State, according to Tesla. While the New York State Department of Labor stands ready with its Rapid Response Team to ensure that any employees who are impacted by Panasonic’s decision are connected to opportunities and resources available in the region, Tesla has indicated that it intends to hire as many Panasonic employees as it can going forward. We look forward to continuing to grow employment at the RiverBend site with Tesla.”

— Empire State Development Chair Howard Zemsky

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