ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Automobiles

Tesla's Elon Musk vows to pull 'immediately' out of California

Former Toyota-GM plant remains idle due to coronavirus lockdown

Elon Musk is considering moving Tesla's headquarters to Nevada or Texas.   © Reuters

PALTO ALTO, U.S. -- Electric car maker Tesla will leave California and move its headquarters to another state, CEO Elon Musk said Saturday after local health officials refused to allow the company's factory to reopen amid the coronavirus outbreak.

"Frankly, this is the final straw," Musk said in a Twitter post. 

"Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately," he said, describing the company as "the last carmaker left" in California.

In a separate tweet, Musk said he would sue Alameda County, where the plant is located, saying officials there were acting against the U.S. Constitution, the governor and U.S. President Donald Trump.

The remarks come after Tesla halted production at its factory in Shanghai, which had been its only plant still in operation during the pandemic, in a move the company described as "normal" adjustment.

Tesla had made no official comment on Musk's comments as of this report.

The Tesla factory is seen in Fremont, California.   © Reuters

Tesla's auto factory in Fremont, California, once belonged to a joint-venture between Toyota Motor and General Motors. It was acquired by the electric car maker in 2010 and remains its only vehicle-assembly plant in the U.S.

Tesla was forced to halt production there in late March after the government of Alameda County deemed operations "non-essential."

The automaker had been looking to restart the plant once California eased statewide restrictions on business activity Friday, but the county maintained a stricter level of coronavirus precautions. 

The Fremont factory has an annual production capacity of about 490,000 vehicles and employed more than 10,000 people until its March stoppage. Tesla, which partners with Japan's Panasonic on electric-vehicle batteries, is headquartered in nearby Palo Alto.

"If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be [dependent] on how Tesla is treated in the future," Musk said.

The CEO has retracted tweets before. In 2018, he broached plans to take Nasdaq-listed Tesla private, only to backtrack less than three weeks later. The series of tweets prompted the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to charge Musk with securities fraud, a case that was later settled.

The terms of the settlement include pre-approval from Tesla for any tweets that could affect the company's share price.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends July 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media