Tesla Shuts 'er Down in Fremont, Buffalo

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
tesla shuts 8216 er down in fremont buffalo

After a days-long jousting match between Tesla and county officials, the electric automaker has apparently come to terms with the fact it is not an essential service. Tesla will idle its assembly plant in Fremont, California on March 23rd, with its Buffalo, New York solar facility also going dark.

Controversy sprung up after Tesla continued operations in Fremont after the county, one of several in the Bay area to do so, issued a shelter-in-place order to aid in the battle against coronavirus.

The humming plant was at odds with a growing number of automakers announcing temporary shutdowns.

In a release Thursday afternoon, Tesla said it made the decision after meeting with local, state, and federal officials, though it relented from admitting social or government pressure had anything to do with its decision.

“Despite taking all known health precautions, continued operations in certain locations has caused challenges for our employees, their families and our suppliers,” the automaker stated.

“As such, we have decided to temporarily suspend production at our factory in Fremont, from end of day March 23, which will allow an orderly shutdown. Basic operations will continue in order to support our vehicle and energy service operations and charging infrastructure, as directed by the local, state and federal authorities. Our factory in New York will temporarily suspend production as well, except for those parts and supplies necessary for service, infrastructure and critical supply chains.”

The company’s battery-producing Gigafactory in Nevada will continue operations, Tesla added.

Workers will be paid up until March 23rd, though Tesla HR head Valerie Workman said in an email obtained by CNBC that “we will provide paid leave [to Fremont and Buffalo workers] during suspended operations.”

“Those who have been working from home should continue to do so and consider it business as usual,” Workman said.

Tesla’s planned shutdown comes after the Detroit Three, Nissan, Honda, and Hyundai announced a suspension of assembly operations in the U.S. In its announcement, Tesla said it plans to initiate “touchless deliveries” — vehicle handovers where the customer does not meet with a company employee. Instead, the customer would pick their car up at a pre-arranged drop-off location, sign the paperwork left inside, then drop off those documents at another locale before heading home.

[Image: Tesla]

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  • Dividebytube Dividebytube on Mar 20, 2020

    Speaking of Tesla: my wife and I have been car shopping to replace her gas-hog Infiniti M35x. Up for consideration is a 2018 Buick Regal TourX with only 13k-something miles. Yes it's being dropped by GM. And yes getting body and other parts may become an issue in the future. But I really like the looks and the wagon usability. But we're also considering a Tesla Model 3 Standard with Extended Range. My only concerns: interior noise is reported as being high which wears me out on longer drives. Also the whole "touch screen for everything" seems like a PITA. Any owners out there who can comment on their experience?

    • See 1 previous
    • Moparmann Moparmann on Mar 20, 2020

      @FreedMike Let's see, which one is it that's guilty of pushing a new model out to the public and letting them be the beta testers? Ford, GM, Tesla, I'm not sure!?? Today, sometimes it seems as though you gamble on being the first buyer of a new product!

  • Cprescott Cprescott on Mar 26, 2020

    Wow. With Tesla shutting down things, who will build AMC level of quality products that have their fanbois swooning to buy? I swear the fools that buy these cars accept horrifc paint and panel and interior fits as if these flaws were signs of superiority. I was shocked at how utterly awful the assembly and paint quality of these things have become. I can understand if this is your first year building things that you'll have issues, but these are vehicles mass produced off of seasoned assembly lines. There is no excuse to have paint flaws that you'd complain about in a $12,000 Ford (if you could buy one).

  • ToolGuy 38:25 to 45:40 -- Let's all wait around for the stupid ugly helicopter. 😉The wheels and tires are cool, as in a) carbon fiber is a structural element not decoration and b) they have some sidewall.Also like the automatic fuel adjustment (gasoline vs. ethanol).(Anyone know why it's more powerful on E85? Huh? Huh?)
  • Ja-GTI So, seems like you have to own a house before you can own a BEV.
  • Kwik_Shift Good thing for fossil fuels to keep the EVs going.
  • Carlson Fan Meh, never cared for this car because I was never a big fan of the Gen 1 Camaro. The Gen 1 Firebird looked better inside and out and you could get it with the 400.The Gen 2 for my eyes was peak Camaro as far as styling w/those sexy split bumpers! They should have modeled the 6th Gen after that.
  • ToolGuy From the listing: "Oil changes every April & October (full-synth), during which I also swap out A/S (not the stock summer MPS3s) and Blizzak winter tires on steelies, rotating front/back."• While ToolGuy applauds the use of full synthetic motor oil,• ToolGuy absolutely abhors the waste inherent in changing out a perfectly good motor oil every 6 months.The Mobil 1 Extended Performance High Mileage I run in our family fleet has a change interval of 20,000 miles. (Do I go 20,000 miles before changing it? No.) But this 2014 Focus has presumably had something like 16 oil changes in 36K miles, which works out to a 2,250 mile average change interval. Complete waste of time, money and perfectly good natural gas which could have gone to a higher and better use.Mobil 1 also says their oil miraculously expires at 1 year, and ToolGuy has questions. Is that one year in the bottle? One year in the vehicle? (Have I gone longer than a year in some of our vehicles? Yes, I have. Did I also add Lucas Oil 10131 Pure Synthetic Oil Stabilizer during that time, in case you are concerned about the additive package losing efficacy? Yes, I might have -- as far as you know.)TL;DR: I aim for annual oil changes and sometimes miss that 'deadline' by a few months; 12,000 miles between oil changes bothers me not at all, if you are using a quality synthetic which you should be anyway.