Currently reading: Tesla defies local officials by opening California factory
Production resumes at EV maker's Fremont plant
James Attwood, digital editor
News
3 mins read
12 May 2020

Tesla has resumed production at its US gigafactory in Fremont, California, in defiance of local officials.

While California has eased its stay-at-home restrictions to allow manufacturing to resume, officials in Alameda County, where the plant is located, have so far not given permission for it to reopen. That prompted Tesla to file a lawsuit against county officials over the weekend.

Staff have now returned to work at the site, with production resuming yesterday (Monday). Production had been halted since mid-March, when officials issued a stay-at-home order to combat the coronavirus outbreak. Tesla initially wanted to keep the plant open, but county officials ruled that car production was a “non-essential business”. The Model 3 and new Model Y are both built at the facility.

On Twitter, company boss Elon Musk said: "Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules. I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me."

A statement from Alameda County officials said: "We learned that the Tesla factory in Fremont had opened beyond Minimum Basic Operations. We have notified Tesla that they can only maintain Minimum Basic Operations until we have an approved plan that can be implemented in accordance with the local public health order.

"We are addressing this matter using the same phased approach we use for other businesses which have violated the order in the past, and we hope that Tesla will likewise comply without further enforcement measures."

While several neighbouring counties have lifted restrictions, Alameda County officials have yet to give permission for the plant to reopen. That prompted Tesla to file a lawsuit against the county in San Francisco Federal Court last weekend. In the filing, Tesla called the restrictions a “power grab” by county officials that contravened the California governor’s statement that manufacturers in the state would be allowed to reopen.

In a statement issued on its website, Tesla said that it has informed officials in Alameda County about its restart plans, and is working with the county’s public health agency on steps to guarantee the safety of its workers. These include online training, temperature screening, partitioned work zones, rigorous cleaning and the use of personal protective equipment.

Tesla said the restart plan was “the result of months of careful planning” and was modelled after the “comprehensive return to work plan” in its Shanghai Gigafactory in China, which resumed production three months ago following that country’s lockdown.

The firm added: “We will continue to put people back to work in a safe and responsible manner. However, the County’s position left us no choice but to take legal action to ensure that Tesla and its employees can get back to work.”

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Following the post, Musk 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 [sic] on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.”

Tesla has an existing gigafactory in Nevada, and is understood to have been evaluating opening a plant in Texas in the near future. Both states have also begun to substantially ease lockdown restrictions to combat the spread of Covid-19 in recent weeks.

Fremont mayor Lily Mei issued a statement saying: "The City encourages the County to engage with our local businesses to come up with acceptable guidelines for re-opening our local economy. As we have done for over a decade, the City is prepared to support Tesla as soon as they are able to resume automobile manufacturing operations and are committed to a thoughtful, balanced approach to this effort that remains safe for our Fremont community.”

READ MORE

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Comments
20

10 May 2020

Musk deserves credit for bringing Tesla profile and focus, but I think there is now an argument for him to go as his increasingly erratic behaviour is doing them no favours.

He didn't start the company but was an early investor and quickly became chairman. Tesla have achieved a great amount, but the ridiculous Cybertruck seems so off brand to me, and no one outside the company says the Semi is credible.

10 May 2020
scrap wrote:

Musk deserves credit for bringing Tesla profile and focus, but I think there is now an argument for him to go as his increasingly erratic behaviour is doing them no favours.

He didn't start the company but was an early investor and quickly became chairman. Tesla have achieved a great amount, but the ridiculous Cybertruck seems so off brand to me, and no one outside the company says the Semi is credible.

That means something else here in the UK.....lads?!

17 May 2020

going at it half-cock again :) :)

10 May 2020

 Boris should offer him an empty factory site here, because as things are going down South there's going to be a lot of empty ones!

11 May 2020

Rather odd that if you want to start your business a.s.a.p. you should start a legal case against someone. Who knows, in two or three years time, the courts might find in favour of him.

And it's also rather odd that whilst the factory is closed, you say you're going to move your HQ to another state. Is that to say you're telling your current workforce they're sacked?

The bloke is a certified nutcase. He's like Trump in that he has no experience of being told what to do and when he is, and knows there's othing he can do about it, throws the toys out the pram.

Of course he never wanted to close the factory in the first place. He wrote backon 19 th March that by end of April there would be few if any new cases of the virus in the US. Well that date has come and gone and the fact is that by the end of April, there were just over 1,000,000 virus cases recorded in the USA ( 1.34m as of today 10th May ).

There's another target missed Elon but you're used to that.

 

12 May 2020

Hes a certified nutcase? Really? what have you achieved in life apart from feeding your goldfish?

Ignoramus.

 

12 May 2020
lambo58 wrote:

Hes a certified nutcase? Really? what have you achieved in life apart from feeding your goldfish?

Ignoramus.

 

The guy is nuts, just cos he did some good stuff for electric cars doesnt mean he isnt.

12 May 2020

You are too stupid to explain how difficult it is to start any successful business let alone a car business, a space business and any other number of amazing game changing things hes done because you are just a brainless troll.

Come back when you can show me any other dumb jerk has started a world beating business of any kind without seeming a little bit out there.

Naw- didnt think so you arse

12 May 2020
lambo58 wrote:

You are too stupid to explain how difficult it is to start any successful business let alone a car business, a space business and any other number of amazing game changing things hes done because you are just a brainless troll.

Come back when you can show me any other dumb jerk has started a world beating business of any kind without seeming a little bit out there.

Naw- didnt think so you arse

 

No, no, no, youre too stupid to understand - I have started a successful business, not as successful as Tesla, but still successful. Using your logic I could be as much of a tw*t as I like and all would be forgiven cos I d started a successful business. Starting a business, however successful (and it depends how you measure success - sales? market share? profit? share price?) does not mean its acceptable to break the law and potentially endanger life. Its not me whos the a*se.

17 May 2020

lambo58, all fart and no poo

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