Tesla Sues County, Threatens to Move California Plant

Tesla Sues County, Threatens to Move California Plant

Issue 18

05.11.20 - The battle between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and local health officials over whether the electric carmaker can resume manufacturing in Fremont, California, escalated on Saturday, when Tesla filed a lawsuit against Alameda County, where Fremont is located.

The filing of the lawsuit in federal court in northern California asks for an injunction against Alameda’s shelter-in-place order, saying it contradicts an order by the state’s governor regarding companies operating in the federal critical infrastructure sectors.

Tesla filed the lawsuit just hours after Musk threatened to do so on Twitter. Musk accused a local official of “acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms & just plain common sense!”

Musk was referring to the California governor’s recent state order that allows many retail and manufacturing facilities to reopen. Officials in the San Francisco Bay Area, by contrast, appear to prefer a reopening later this month. The prolonged Tesla factory closure undoubtedly caused the company a lot of money.

“Frankly, this is the final straw,“ Musk said on Twitter. “Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all,” it would depend on how “Tesla is treated in the future.” He later added that “Tesla is the biggest manufacturer in California & second biggest exporter.” The company also has tens of thousands of workers in the state.

Musk then drew a contrast between Alameda and to San Joaquin County, which has agreed to open up in line with the California state order.  “San Joaquin County, right next door to Alameda, has been sensible & reasonable, whereas Alameda has been irrational & detached from reality,” Musk said. “Our castings foundry and other faculties in San Joaquin have been working 24/7 this entire time with no ill effects.”

The state likely would likely be strongly opposed to the prospect of losing almost 500,000 jobs and will put pressure on the County to act accordingly. The most puzzling factor is that Tesla is likely the company that would be best prepared to fight an outbreak with its early experience in fighting against COVID-19 with it’s China plant.

Source: Wall Street Journal, The Information