Tesla Vs Alameda County Update: Official Production Could Return Monday
Tesla CEO Elon Musk made waves this past weekend by declaring his Fremont, California assembly plant would resume production in defiance of the stay-at-home orders imposed by Alameda County, bolstering his claim by threatening to move his HQ out of the state. He also fired off a lawsuit for good measure.
Musk wasn’t too pleased with the county’s decision to extend the closure of non-essential businesses through the end of the month, arguing that the governor’s word (allowing a return of statewide manufacturing) held sway.
Late Tuesday, the county issued what it probably hopes is the final word on the matter.
After first ordering Tesla to pump the brakes on its vehicle manufacturing, the Alameda County Public Heath Department later issued a statement, claiming that talks with the automaker proved productive. After reviewing the company’s health protocol and issuing a few additional directives, the county said Tesla could return to limited production by as early as next Monday.
That’s the same day members of Detroit Three plan to fire up their North American plants.
“We received Tesla’s site-specific Fremont COVID-19 Prevention and Control Plan yesterday as anticipated,” the health department tweeted. “A site-specific plan is a part of the Governor’s guidance for reopening manufacturing.
“We reviewed the plan and held productive discussions today with Tesla’s representatives about their safety and prevention plans, including some additional safety recommendations. If Tesla’s Prevention and Control Plan includes these updates, and the public health indicators remain stable or improve, we have agreed that Tesla can begin to augment their Minimum Business Operations this week in preparation for possible reopening as soon as next week.”
Contained within the statement was a promise to use the watchful eyes of the Fremont Police Department to ensure updated health practices are followed at the plant.
It seems vehicle production actually started last weekend (per the San Francisco Chronicle), with no one being able to determine if the Fremont plant is still in operation. Musk’s threats, coupled with the fact Tesla is among the region’s largest employers (as well as having the public backing of President Donald Trump), put county officials in a delicate spot.
I asked Councilman Vinnie Bacon if Tesla is getting special treatment amid the health crisis because it is the largest employer in Fremont and one of the largest in the county.
"Of course," he said.
— Joseph Geha (@josephgeha16) May 12, 2020
[Image: Aleksei Potov/Shutterstock]
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