Late final 12 months Elon Musk kissed California goodbye. The Tesla chief executive sold his Bel-Air mansions and said he’d moved to Texas. However whereas he additionally threatened to shut the electrical car maker’s California manufacturing unit in Fremont, these threats now appear like bluster.
The company not too long ago filed for permits with city officers to show an assemblyline that now runs via an outside tent right into a everlasting construction. That will increase the current plant by 64,000 sq. feet, although it’s not clear whether or not it will add to production capability.
The allow application news was first reported by online news publication Teslarati. Whereas the allow application signifies dedication to the location, there is no such thing as a assure that the project will likely be completed. It’s additionally not clear whether or not building would cut into current production of the Model 3 and Model Y, which now run via the tent. Tesla additionally builds Model X and Model S cars in Fremont. Tesla didn’t reply to requests for comment and doesn’t have a press relations department.
Musk’s threats to go away California carried weight given Tesla’s large push to extend production elsewhere. It already operates one other plant in Shanghai, China, and main new factories are presently under building in Austin, Texas, and close to Berlin, in Germany.
Musk first threatened to close down Fremont in May, when the plant was ordered closed by Alameda County health officers because the COVID-19 pandemic started to unfold via the U.S. He defied the orders and reopened the plant, inviting officers to have him arrested.
Alameda County’s public health officer on the time, Erica Pan, relented and allowed the plant to stay open. (Pan was later named state epidemiologist by Gov. Gavin Newsom.)
A number of months later, Musk reiterated his risk of a Fremont closure in an interview with Automotive News. When he introduced he personally was ditching California for Texas in December, shortly adopted by announcements that Hewlett-Packard and Oracle had been transferring headquarters to the Lone Star State, it stoked debate inside the tech industry over whether or not California was sufficiently hospitable to business and whether or not Austin or one other city may re-create Silicon Valley’s success with startups.
Nonetheless, there’s no signal that Musk is significantly contemplating relocating Tesla’s Palo Alto headquarters or the Hawthorne headquarters of his rocket company, SpaceX.
It stays to be seen whether or not Tesla will promote sufficient vehicles to justify all its new plants. The company sold about 500,000 cars final 12 months out of its Fremont and Shanghai plants. The company has said it’s capable of construct 500,000 out of the Fremont plant alone.
The Berlin plant has encountered quite a few delays, whilst Tesla’s sales in Europe have declined, dropping 10% in 2020, in response to Schmidt Automotive Research. The company’s electrical car market share in Europe fell from first to 3rd place, behind Volkswagen and Renault.