Tesla CEO Elon Musk has confirmed that vehicle production at the Fremont factory has resumed today despite orders from Alameda County health officials.
Musk has opted to take a bold stance by directly going against the orders of Alameda County health officials, though he emphasized in his tweet that he is responsible for any repercussions that may result from the Fremont factory’s reopening today. Musk added that if an arrest were to be made due to the factory’s reopening, he is the only one that should be apprehended.
“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,” Musk wrote.
Prior to Musk’s tweet, reports emerged stating that Tesla’s Fremont factory is already up and running. The factory’s parking lot appears to be nearly full. Reporters in the area noted that the number of vehicles on the plant’s lot is comparable to that of a regular shift.
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.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 11, 2020
CBS Bay Area affiliate KPIX reported that shift workers were seen funneling in and out of the building with personal protective equipment. Tesla has utilized the same technique at its production facility in Shanghai, China, which has been fully operational since February 10.
Another Bay Area news station, Fox affiliate KTVU, reported the lot was full of cars by the time the sun rose over Northern California on Monday. An employee called into the news station on Monday morning and stated he had been at work from 6 P.M. Sunday until 6 A.M. Monday.
Late last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent an email to Fremont employees stating the company would begin production at the plant during the evening hours of Friday, May 8. However, this idea was shot down by Alameda County representatives who stated that Tesla would not be permitted to reopen the factory.
Musk immediately mentioned that Tesla would be opening a lawsuit against the County, stating that the closure was “inexplicable” and ignored an order that Governor Gavin Newsom had issued earlier. Newsom noted that manufacturing businesses were able to resume operation on Friday.
Following the opening of the lawsuit, Musk stated that Tesla would be moving its headquarters from California to Nevada or Texas. This claim was in response to the enforced closure of the Fremont plant from Alameda County officials. Tesla also released a 38-page Return to Work playbook detailing its plan to reopen the Fremont facility safely.
Tesla’s Fremont factory employs half of the 20,000 people who work for the electric automaker in the Bay Area of California. The facility produces the Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Model Y.