Tesla hoped to resume operations at its Fremont car plant on Friday; however, Alameda County health officials said that the factory doesn’t meet the criteria for reopening and must remain closed. Now, Elon Musk, CEO Tesla, is threatening to move the company headquarters out of the state in addition to suing the county. He wrote on Twitter:
Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependen on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2020
Musk also said that Tesla is filing a lawsuit against the county, and actions taken by local health officials were contrary to “the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms & just plain common sense!”
Musk had hoped that the factory, which was closed in mid-March due to the coronavirus lockdowns, would be restarted with 30% of the normal workforce. Tesla manufactures around 415,000 cars yearly at the Fremont plant, and moving operations elsewhere would be an arduous task. This threat comes amidst the firm’s desire to increase the production of Tesla Model Y, which has been the most profitable car in the firm’s history.
A spokesperson for Alameda county stated that its health department is recommending the automaker to wait at least another week before resuming production (via Reuters). Meanwhile, local infection rates would be monitored, and the necessary safety productions can be discussed.