Tesla Shuts 'er Down in Fremont, Buffalo

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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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).

  • Golden2husky Have to say he did an excellent job on the C7, especially considering the limited budget he was given. I am very happy with my purchase.
  • Marty The problem isn't range; it's lack of electricity in multi-unit building parking. All you need is level 1 - a standard 120v wall socket - and if you're plugged in 10 hours overnight you get 280 miles per week or more. That's enough for most folks but you can use public charging to supplement when needed. Installing conduit circuits and outlets is simple and cheap; no charge stations needed.
  • 2manyvettes Tadge was at the Corvette Corral at the Rolex 24 hour sports car race at the end of January 2023. During the Q&A after his remarks someone stood up and told him "I will never buy an electric Corvette." His response? "I will never sell you an electric Corvette." Take that Fwiw.
  • Socrates77 They're pinching pennies for the investors like always, greed has turned GM into a joke of an old corporate American greed.
  • Analoggrotto looking at this takes me right back to the year when “CD-ROM” first entered public lexicon