We'd hate to have been in the room when he got that news.
California-based EV manufacturer Tesla has seen its production plans again frustrated by the global coronavirus pandemic, after the company was directed by Alameda County officials not to reopen its Fremont assembly plant, where the Tesla Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Model Y are all built.
This comes after Tesla CEO Elon Musk informed employees on Thursday that production would restart at the facility the following afternoon, May 8, albeit with only about 30% of its usual staffing levels each shift. In an email, the CEO also told employees that returning to work would not be required of those who didn't feel safe doing so.
But since that email went out to Fremont factory workers, the company was told that the factory "must not reopen," according to Reuters, even though California Governor Gavin Newsom had said that some manufacturing in the state would be allowed to restart. In a statement, an Alameda County Public Health Department spokesperson said "Tesla has been informed that they do not meet [the] criteria and must not reopen."
Alameda County is scheduled to remain on lockdown until the end of May, and a county health officer recommended that Tesla's assembly plant remain shuttered for at least another week, Reuters reports.
Tesla's eagerness to restart production in Fremont is hardly surprising considering how the company reacted to the initial shelter-in-place order affecting six counties in the Bay Area, essentially ignoring the directive and maintaining some level of production output. More recently, the 48-year-old business exec went on a tirade against the US's stay-at-home approach to fighting the pandemic, even going so far as to call such orders "fascist".
Tesla's battery-producing "Gigafactories" in Nevada and New York are, at least, producing in limited volume as states begin to open back up, but it will be a while longer before the brand new Tesla Model Y is rolling off the line in Fremont.