Musk Is Threatening To Move Tesla HQ Out Of California
Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, just can’t stay out of the news or off Twitter lately. News and discussion of Musk’s new baby and his unusual name were short-lived as Musk took to Twitter to announce that Tesla would be filing a lawsuit against Alameda County and be moving its headquarters out of California.
Tesla is currently shut down due to the Covid-19 crisis, just like almost every other non-essential business in the country right now. And Musk is not happy about it. He has attempted to reopen the company’s Fremont, CA, factory but has been blocked by county officials.
It’s reported that Tesla claims in the suit that Alameda County had violated the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment and sought an injunction that would allow the company to operate.
As of now, Alameda County still has final say over who can reopen and who cannot, and based on case numbers and health restrictions, the county isn’t yet ready to have the Tesla factory up and running yet.
In a public statement, Alameda County spokeswoman Neetu Balram said, “Tesla has been informed that they do not meet those criteria and must not reopen. We welcome Tesla’s proactive work on a reopening plan so that once they fit the criteria to reopen, they can do so in a way that protects their employees and the community at large.”
That wasn’t good enough for Musk, though. He headed straight to Twitter to announce that he would be suing the county “immediately” and relocating his operations to Texas and Nevada.
Tesla issued a statement over the weekend saying it would resume production at its facility, implementing social distancing by spreading employees out across its 6 million square foot facility and conducting on-site temperature screenings.
While Musk is notorious for erratic and off-the-wall decisions, this latest outburst left even strong supporters puzzled. Musk has consistently downplayed the seriousness of the coronavirus public health orders and has promoted skepticism over the necessity for social distancing and shelter-in-place orders.
In a clip above, Musk is heard on an earning call saying, “To say that they cannot leave their house and they will be arrested if they do, this is fascist. This is not democratic — this is not freedom.” This came a day after he Tweeted “FREE AMERICA NOW.”
Whether Musk will make good on any of these threats remains to be seen.