Tesla Chief Elon Musk Monday stated manufacturing was resuming at the EV manufacturer’s sole U.S. vehicle manufacturing unit, in California, defying an order to remain closed and saying if anybody needs to be arrested it should be him.
The step comes as states and cities around the U.S. experiment with ways to safely resume their economies after the coronavirus pandemic closed down companies and forced tens of millions of Americans out of labor.
Musk over the weekend threatened to move to Nevada or Texas over his factory’s closure. His shift has highlighted the competition for jobs and stoked a rush to attract the billionaire executive by states that have reopened their economies more quickly in response to encouragement from U.S. President Trump.
In a Monday email, Tesla referred to an order on Thursday by California’s governor allowing manufacturers to resume operations and stated that as of Sunday, previously furloughed workers have been back to their regular employment status.
Health delegates in Alameda County, where the Fremont manufacturing unit is located, late Monday stated they have been aware that Tesla had opened beyond the so-called minimal basic operations allowed throughout lockdown, and had notified the company it couldn’t operate without a county-approved plan.
A spokesperson for the Fremont Police Division Monday stated her office was imposing the lockdown order at the direction of the health division and had been suggested that the county is working with Tesla directly.