He sued California for a very good reason, according to a recent email leak.
Not long after Tesla finally resolved production issues at its Fremont factory in California, a new type of disaster struck in March called the novel coronavirus. Suddenly, the EV automaker was unable to fulfill the large number of orders for its latest vehicle, the Tesla Model Y, due to forced factory shutdowns. Following a minor but very public legal battle with Alameda County officials last month, Tesla's Fremont factory finally received permission to reopen. The momentum Tesla had achieved has apparently not been regained and CEO Elon Musk is concerned.
The proof? A leaked email dated June 6 sent by Musk to company employees reveals the Model Y is the company's top priority right now at Fremont.
"It is extremely important for us to ramp up Model Y production and minimize rectification needs. I want you to know that it really makes a difference to Tesla right now." Musk wrote. Rectifications are things the company needs to repair on vehicles that have already been built.
"Model Y, especially GA (General Assembly), is the top priority for both production and manufacturing engineering. GA4 (General Assembly Line 4, aka the huge tent Tesla built last year to help accommodate Model 3 production) is also top priority for facility improvements. For those working in GA4, thank you for bearing with tough conditions. Will get better fast. I will be walking the line personally every week," the email adds.
In general, it seems like if it weren't for the pandemic, Model Y production and its subsequent launch would have gone extremely well, especially compared to the Model 3. It all makes sense now why Musk went as far as defying the county's ban on opening businesses even as it was reviewing those policies. Musk refused to wait for them to make a decision and thus made his own, damn the consequences.
Threatening to move Tesla headquarters from Alameda County to another state, such as Texas, also likely helped to nudge officials along. Until Model Y production issues are fully sorted, chances are Musk won't be resting easy.