Tesla could drop its plans to call some workers back to the Fremont factory after counties in the San Francisco Bay Area expressed plans to extend Stay-at-Home orders through the entire month of May and possibly into June.
The Fremont facility is located in Alameda County, California. Alameda’s health officer and six other counties have stated they will be announcing revised Stay-at-Home orders for citizens. The current lockdown was initially due to end on May 3, but it seems the counties’ leading health authorities have pulled back in their intent to allow people to come back to work next week.
Tesla closed both its Fremont, California, and Buffalo, New York facilities on March 23, 2020 due to the ongoing pandemic. Tesla had announced earlier in April that both production plants would be reopening on May 4, along with its Giga Nevada facility that produces batteries and powertrains for the Model 3 sedan.
Tesla planned to implement a series of safety measures in each of the plants to keep employees safe from the possibility of contracting the virus. However, it appears that Fremont may end up staying closed, which means vehicle production for the electric carmaker could be delayed for most of 2020’s second quarter.
While the company has stopped producing all of its available electric vehicles in the United States, Tesla has continued to deliver cars to consumers. Tesla has initiated a series of safety precautions to help stop the spread of the disease through human contact while still allowing owners to obtain their vehicles. One of the most known steps is a “contactless delivery” service that enables drivers to pick up keycards through automated locker systems.
The company planned to begin bringing some workers back as early as this week. Members of Tesla’s paint and stamping departments were reportedly told to come to work on April 29, according to a Bloomberg report. The South Paint shop located within the Fremont facility was to be revamped shortly, according to documents Teslarati recovered earlier this month.
Roughly 20,000 people in the Bay Area work for Tesla, half of them at the Fremont facility. The rest are deployed in showrooms, office spaces, and the company’s headquarters in Palo Alto. Around 2,500 of these employees are still working to maintain the company’s primary operations.
The Bay Area went under Stay-at-Home orders on March 16, which was one of the earliest dates announced in the United States. These orders in the San Francisco area have helped limit the spread of COVID-19 throughout the U.S.
Tesla could announce its plans to keep the facilities closed during its Q1 2020 earnings call on Wednesday, April 29.