US President Donald Trump on Tuesday urged that Tesla Inc be allowed to reopen its electric vehicle assembly plant in California, joining the carmaker's CEO Elon Musk's bid to defy county officials that have ordered it to remain closed.
Officials in America's Golden State refused to take the bait, and put out a statement [PDF] - the second on Tesla in two days - in which it pointed out that it has been in discussions for over a week with Tesla about reopening the factory amid the ongoing stay-at-home orders.
Newsom said during a news briefing on Monday that he was not aware of Musk's intentions to reopen Fremont's factory at that time. I truly appreciate having a cutting edge company based here, employing people, paying taxes, and helping to solve the climate crisis.
"They are more in favor of safety and more in favor of protecting workers", Gordon said.
Tesla additionally will move its central command out of California and might quit fabricating vehicles at the plant through and through, he said.
The relationship has been fruitful for Tesla, netting Musk hundreds of millions in subsidies, including nine years of sales tax exemptions totaling almost $250 million. Alameda County is behind on several of the indicators, including completing fewer than 30 tests per day per 100,000 people; Newsom's order requires counties to hit 200 tests per day.
A county health official said on Friday that all manufacturers, including Tesla, were asked to delay operations by at least another week to monitor infection and hospitalization rates.
The department has deemed the factory a nonessential business that can't fully open under virus restrictions. Its Saturday lawsuit alleges that Alameda County (home of Tesla's US plant) had violated California's constitution by not allowing manufacturers to reopen per Newsom's order. Newsom has repeatedly said counties can impose restrictions that are more stringent than state orders.
The Bay Area order, which Tesla has sued to overturn, has been extended until the end of the month. "All other vehicle companies are allowed to manufacture *except* Tesla, you knucklehead", he responded to a critic of his previous arrest tweet. Some auto parts plants were to restart production this week.
Tesla workers, who were previously furloughed, will be back to work from Sunday.
The California employment development department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether Tesla workers would maintain benefits as the plant reopens.
It has also installed barriers between workers where necessary and introduced employee temperature checks at "some locations".