Tesla CEO Elon Musk has threatened to move his Fremont car factory in California to Nevada or Texas if the state does not allow the facility to open despite the sheltering-in-home in place. Musk has filed a lawsuit in California's Alameda County to reopen the Fremont Tesla plant.
"Tesla is filing a lawsuit against Alameda County immediately. The unelected & ignorant 'Interim Health Officer' of Alameda is acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms & just plain common sense!" Musk tweeted on Saturday.
He added: "Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependent on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA".
According to a report in CBS News, Musk has called 30 per cent of workforce to resume duties at Tesla Fremont factory, saying Governor Gavin Newsom's order permitted it.
The Tesla California plant was shut on March 23 under a six-county order in the San Francisco area, which has been extended through May 31.
Fremont Mayor Lily Mei said that Fremont is encouraging the county to "engage with local businesses to come up with acceptable guidelines for re-opening our local economy."
In a statement, Alamada County said: "The team at Tesla has been responsive to our guidance and recommendations, and we look forward to coming to an agreement on an appropriate safety plan very soon".
Slamming restrictions imposed on people's movements in light of the COVID-19 crisis, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that telling people that they cannot leave their home is "fascist".
Musk has been a fierce critic of COVID-19 restrictions from the very beginning of the outbreak. At one point, he even called the coronavirus panic "dumb".
He said that "forcibly imprisoning people in their homes against all their constitutional alliance" is "horrible and wrong".
Musk said that while Tesla will weather the storm, there are many small companies that will not.
"Tesla knows far more about what needs to be done to be safe through our Tesla China factory experience than an (unelected) interim junior official in Alameda County," Musk further tweeted.
(With inputs from IANS)