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Surprise: Tesla, Toyota to build an electric car

Announcement by governor takes even Tesla officials by surprise

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made a surprise announcement today that Palo Alto-based electric car company Tesla Inc. and Toyota Motors will create an electric car, according to the Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal.

The announcement was apparently a surprise even to Tesla officials.

Tesla spokeswoman Chobi Brooklyn declined to confirm the partnership and told the Journal that she was unaware that the governor was going to make any kind of announcement regarding the partnership.

The car will be made in California but Schwarzenegger didn't specify the location, the Journal said. There has been some speculation that Tesla might take over the closed New United Motor Manufacturing plant in Fremont, which was closed by Toyota on April 1.

Tesla announced on Feb. 3 the company had hired Toyota's former production engineering general manager, Gilbert Passin, to lead its manufacturing operations.

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