Tesla frontman Elon Musk has told friends and close associates that he is planning to move to Texas and away from California. A new report from CNBC says that the CEO has plans to leave the Golden State and become a resident of the Lone Star State instead, but the reasons are not entirely known. The big question is: Will Tesla’s headquarters go with him, or will operations remain in California, where the automaker has called home since its establishment in 2003?
CNBC’s report indicates that Musk’s move may have to do with his discontent for COVID-19 restrictions, which he disagreed with vocally earlier this year. During the Q1 2020 Earnings Call that Tesla held in April, Musk explained that lockdowns were fascist and that California’s politicians should give people “their g*ddamn freedom” back. This led to the CEO gaining an extreme discontent for the handling of the situation, which shut down Tesla’s Fremont production plant for over a month and a half.
After the shutdown and Alameda County Health Officials questioning whether Tesla was ready for reopening, Musk said that Tesla would “move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately.”
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
The CEO even took some steps to hint toward his departure from California. Eventually, Musk sold his possessions and houses, claiming that he was completely ridding himself of things that weigh him down and that he was fully focused on the mission to get people to Mars. After selling his California estates, some wondered whether Musk would eventually move his company to Texas.
In an interview with Automotive News, Musk sparred with the idea:
“There’s no question that our headquarters will remain in California for the short term. Long term we’ll have to wait and see.”
With Tesla now having a Gigafactory in Texas that will produce several company vehicles for customers in the Eastern half of the country, there is no reason that the company couldn’t establish its base in the state. Musk flies to Texas now, and the Headquarters could be moved relatively easily without much issue. Musk could easily fly back to Fremont when business in California needs to be handled, and considering many of his executives chose Austin as their favorite place to live, he would be close to some of his business associates. In fact, Tesla chose Austin for its new Gigafactory location because of its appeal to company executives.
“When talking to key members of the team that would need to move to Austin from California in order to get the factory going, Austin was their top pick to be totally frank,” Musk said. “That was a big factor in choosing Texas and Austin. Specifically Austin. I guess a lot of people from California, if you ask them what’s the one place you’d move outside of California, it’s Austin.”
When Musk will make the move remains to be seen. However, he is definitely considering it, and it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to have him establish a base in a state where he is favorable with local politicians. The CEO and Texas Governor Greg Abbott gave the “Hook em’ Horns” symbol together in a photo op, and the two could see a future partnership that could benefit both parties.
Tesla picks Texas for its Cybertruck factory.
The Gigafactory will employee thousands of Texans & be a cornerstone for next generation innovation.
It’s been fun to get to know you.
Welcome to Texas. pic.twitter.com/PsnfaEUHaz
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) July 22, 2020