PHOENIX — A California startup will build a $700 million plant in Casa Grande to manufacture luxury electric vehicles.

The plan by Lucid Motors, being announced this afternoon, will involve hiring 2,000 workers for what would be the state's only car manufacturing operation. The first hires will take place next year, with training for the jobs through the community and technical colleges in Pinal and Maricopa counties.

Plans are to have vehicles ready for sale by 2018.

Sonora Gov. Claudia Pavlovich Arellano was part of today's announcement. That is because the plan involves having the parts built in Mexico and shipped to Arizona for final construction.

The 500-acre site is in an industrial area near Interstates 10 and 8. While most of the property already is within Casa Grande, some will need to be annexed.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said Lucid Motors selected Arizona after looking at 60 sites in 13 states. He said the supply chain from Mexico was one of the factors in the selection.

"This project will create thousands of new direct jobs, support many more indirect jobs, and attract new suppliers to the Casa Grande region,'' Ducey said in a prepared statement.

Forbes reported that the company is seeking to compete with Tesla for high-end electric vehicles.

"What we have is a new type of luxury car," the magazine quoted Peter Rawlinson, the company's chief technology officer. He said that means an all-aluminum midsize sedan with a range of 400 miles.