Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced plans via Twitter on Saturday to “immediately” move the company's headquarters and future programs to Texas or Nevada or a combination of the two.
Tesla's headquarters are currently located in California, where the company's sole vehicle plant in the United States also sits. Musk said in his tweet that the future of the vehicle plant, located in Fremont, would depend on how Tesla is treated by California in the future.
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
Musk's latest tweet storm comes after Tesla filed a lawsuit against Alameda County over its decision to block the company from allowing production to restart at the Fremont plant over Covid-19 coronavirus concerns. In the lawsuit, Tesla argued that California Governor Gavin Newsom's decision to allow “critical infrastructure” to continue during the state's shelter-in-place order allows Tesla to continue production of its cars.
Tesla also argued that Alameda County and nearby Santa Clara County allow the production of "distributed energy resources" during the lockdown, which, according to Tesla's lawsuit, is defined in Californian state law to include electric cars, along with solar and battery storage.
Alameda County issued a statement on the matter Saturday in which it said it is working with Tesla to implement a safety plan that allows for reopening while protecting the health and well-being of plant staff, and that it looks forward to reaching an agreement on an appropriate safety plan “very soon.”
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk at Tesla Store opening in Westfield Mall, London, Oct 2013
Musk's frustration with the lockdown has been boiling for several weeks. It even resulted in an expletive-filled rant during Tesla’s quarterly call with analysts and investors late last month where Musk described the lockdown as “fascist” and argued it was limiting freedom.
As for Tesla's potential future outside California, the company already has a plant for batteries and other components for its electric cars in Nevada and this could be expanded, and in March Musk said the company was looking for a location for a second U.S. vehicle plant—ideally in one of the flyover states—for production of the Cybertruck pickup truck.
Perhaps portending the move out of California, Musk only a week ago announced via Twitter that he wanted to sell all of his possessions, including multiple homes in California. Two have already been listed for sale on Zillow, including one previously owned by late actor Gene Wilder.