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Coronavirus: Musk threatens to move Tesla headquarters

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Tesla will transfer its headquarters out of California “instantly” to Nevada or Texas, Elon Musk stated via tweet Saturday morning.

In the identical Twitter message, he threatened to desert the corporate’s Fremont, Calif., auto meeting plant, relying “on how Tesla is handled sooner or later.” In one other, he stated he would sue the county authorities.

For the file:

4:03 p.m. Could 9, 2020A earlier model of this text gave the primary title of Erica Pan as Elaine.

His ire was roused by Alameda County, which ordered him to not reopen the Tesla plant till county public well being officers lifted restrictions. Present county stay-at-home orders addressing the COVID-19 pandemic run by way of Could 31, though that date may change relying on an infection knowledge.

The Tesla chief govt had advised workers to organize for a Friday afternoon manufacturing facility reopening, in defiance of the court docket order. Shortly after 1 p.m. Friday, the county issued a press release directed particularly at Tesla, stating the company “must not reopen” the plant.

The plant has been shut down since March 23. Shutdowns have precipitated monetary stress at Tesla and different firms as public well being authorities try and stability defending folks from unfold of the illness with the deleterious economic effects of enterprise closure.

Musk engaged in a collection of tweets with Tesla followers Saturday morning, by which he referred to as the county motion “the ultimate straw.”

Musk has tangled with county officers earlier than. After a joint six-county San Francisco Bay Space keep at house order March 16, together with Alameda, Musk saved the plant open for practically one other week, till Fremont police intervened. .

Musk tweeted Saturday morning that the “unelected & ignorant ‘Interim Well being Officer’ of Alameda is performing opposite to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms & simply plain frequent sense!” The goal of that tweet apparently was Erica Pan, interim head of the Alameda County Public Well being Division, a doctor with a long time of expertise in infectious illness.

Neither Pan nor Tesla responded to requests for remark.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has eased statewide orders that had blocked manufacturing, however particular person counties can set stricter requirements. The Bay Space orders are among the many strictest within the state.

Tesla employs about 20,000 staff in California, about half at its Fremont manufacturing facility. Its headquarters are in Palo Alto, close to Stanford College within the coronary heart of Silicon Valley. Shifting your entire headquarters with its executives and software program programmers could be a serious enterprise, though Musk himself may arrange a brand new headquarters with a skeleton crew briefly order.

Musk already has been planning new factories to complement Fremont, though he hasn’t recognized the place the cash to construct them will come from. Moreover a China plant, Musk plans an auto meeting plant in Germany and has hinted he’ll construct a brand new plant in Texas, maybe to construct an electrical pickup truck. The corporate has a serious battery manufacturing facility in Nevada, outdoors Reno.

A enterprise exodus has been underway from California to Texas for years, however the reasons are likely to revolve round taxes, labor prices and housing costs reasonably than disputes over public well being.

In his Saturday tweets, Musk stated the corporate’s expertise establishing security procedures in Shanghai in the course of the coronavirus outbreak in China means it is aware of how one can make Fremont secure, too.

“Tesla is aware of way more about what must be executed to be secure by way of our Tesla China manufacturing facility expertise than an (unelected) interim junior officer in Alameda County,” he tweeted.

In a convention name with analysts on April 29, Musk referred to stay-at-home orders as “fascist.” Because the virus started spreading by way of the U.S., Musk tweeted on March 6 that “The coronavirus panic is dumb.”