Elon Musk threatens to move Tesla away from California amid ongoing lockdown dispute

Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter on Saturday to announce that the company will be moving its California-based headquarters to Texas or Nevada, and file a lawsuit against Alameda County.

The revelation comes on the heels of new guidance from California Governor Gavin Newsom to reopen lower risk businesses, including those in manufacturing, with limited operations as early as Friday. Tesla’s Fremont factory in Alameda County was expected to be part of the reopening, however, county Health Officer Dr. Erica Pan would later clarify that the electric carmaker was not “given the green light” to reopen.

As tensions mount between the California-based automaker and local county officials who have ordered Tesla’s factory to remain shut down, in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19, CEO Elon Musk said that his company is preparing to sue the county and move its core presence outside of the state.

The ongoing dispute between Bay Area officials that are overseeing Tesla’s ability to reopen its car factory, and California’s last remaining automaker: Tesla, has only added to the ongoing debate among US citizens on how the government should properly address the spread of coronavirus.

Musk has been an avid supporter of using data to determine the level of restriction to be instituted on a local level. The outspoken CEO has also been a staunch supporter of battling the ongoing pandemic by donating medical equipment to hospitals and frontline staff most in need. Still, Musk’s actions did not come without controversy.

“Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately,” said Musk on Saturday. Adding, “Tesla is filing a lawsuit against Alameda County immediately. The unelected & ignorant “Interim Health Officer” of Alameda is acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms & just plain common sense!”

Tesla has previously announced that it was looking at Texas as the home for its next “Cybertruck Gigafactory“. The company also has a strong presence in Nevada, with its first Gigafactory and the company’s main battery facility residing just outside of Reno.

As the company comes off of record-setting quarters, spearheaded by the success of its new Model Y crossover, investors will be looking at the presumed impact from the continued and mandated shutdown of its factory in Fremont, California.

Tesla has maintained its position of having the capacity to deliver over 500,000 vehicles this year, comprised heavily of Model 3 and Model Y.

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