Tesla’s boss Elon Musk threatens to leave California

“If we were to keep manufacturing in Fremont [Texas], it will depend on how we are treated,” said Elon Musk on Twitter Image: AFP

Elon Musk threatened Saturday to leave California, home to his only Tesla electric car production site in the United States because local authorities are preventing him from resuming production immediately because of a pandemic.

“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 dependent on how Tesla is treated in the future,” Elon Musk said in one of those long diatribes he has the secret to on Twitter. And that are not always followed by effects.

He highlighted Tesla’s experience in China, where its manufacturing site reopened after the Covid-19 outbreak was brought under control.

“Tesla knows far more about what needs to be done to be safe through our Tesla China factory experience than an (unelected) interim junior official in Alameda County,” said the whimsical billionaire, who has just had a son with musician Grimes.

Authorities “irrational and cut off from reality”

He also said he would “immediately” sue Alameda County, near San Francisco, where the plant is located, accusing its authorities of being “irrational and cut off from reality.”

“The ignorant and unelected official ‘acting health official’ of Alameda County goes against the orders of the governor, the president, our constitutional rights and despite common sense!” said Elon Musk.

He had already made headlines on May 1 by sending Tesla’s share price down more than 10% on the stock market after tweeting that the stock was too expensive.

Earlier it was his statements on a conference call with financial analysts that had made waves, already because of the closure of Fremont since March 12. At the time, he considered the extension of confinement to be “fascist” and “not democratic”.

Elon Musk is not fooling. Yet Tesla managed to post a – modest – but surprise profit of $ 16 million in the 1st quarter, a 33% jump in car deliveries and turnover up 32% to 5.99 billion dollars.