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Tesla will move its headquarters to Texas or Nevada, chief executive Elon Musk said in a tweet on Saturday after the Alameda County Health Department told the carmaker that it could not reopen yet as the lockdown measures continue longer than expected.
“Tesla is filing a lawsuit against Alameda County immediately. The unelected & ignorant “Interim Health Officer” of Alameda is acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms & just plain common sense!” Musk tweeted on Saturday. This was the same day that Tesla said in a blog post that it would reopen the Fremont factory in accordance with strict rules for safety.
“Frankly, this is the final straw,” Musk continued 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 will be dependent on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.”
Reuters reports that Alameda County is under lockdown until the end of May, allowing only essential businesses to reopen. According to the county authorities, Tesla was not an essential business, which may well have riled the company’s CEO further, after vocal criticism of the lockdown measures in general.
Tesla, according to its website, is the last major car manufacturer in California and the largest manufacturing employer in the state, with 10,000 workers at the Fremont factory and another 10,000 across the state.
The company had scheduled shifts for its Fremont workers for this week, CNBC reported, citing internal documents, and later argued that its activity did fall in the category of essential businesses. The mayor of Fremont seems to share the sentiment expressed by Tesla after she urged county authorities to work with local companies to agree on “acceptable guidelines for reopening.”
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.