Elon Musk ripped Alameda County, California today and announced on Twitter that he’s pulling up Tesla’s stakes there and headed to Texas and Nevada.
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 on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2020
Musk has called the shutdown and lockdown orders fascist and become increasingly public in opposing them.
Musk at first defied Alameda’s mid-March shutdown order and resisted pressure from the county and Fremont to idle the Fremont factory. While Tesla claimed it was an essential business, the county’s health officer disagreed and said the plant posed a public-health risk. Much of the Bay area has extended shelter-in-place orders through the end of May.
California is our most populous state but it has not been particularly hard hit with the virus. It just ranks fifth nationally in total cases, with under 3,000 deaths among its 39 million residents. But Gov. Newsom and several state and local officials have gone after the virus with a sledgehammer when a scalpel would probably be wiser. Now they stand to lose a marquee business: Tesla. That was the last car manufacturer in California.
As for Musk, Texas is not new to him. His SpaceX has been launching rockets from the Texas coast for years. Tesla already manufactures its batteries in Nevada. Now Musk is joining the long parade of companies, and their jobs, leaving the former Golden State purely because it has become so anti-business.
Now, if he would only pull Tesla out of China…