Tesla officially restarted production on Monday at its plant in Fremont, California, albeit not on the local government’s terms. CEO Elon Musk confirmed workers are back on the job and specifically said the decision goes against Alameda County’s stay-at-home order.
In fact, Musk said he’s willing to be placed under arrest as the factory restarts.
On Tuesday, President Trump lent his support to Musk and called on California to “let Tesla and Musk open the plant.” Tesla opened its plant on Monday before the president tweeted.
The CEO and president’s tweets come after reports of Tesla restarting production on May 11 despite not receiving the green light from the local government. Last Friday, California Governor Gavin Newsom said some manufacturing could begin restarting, but Alameda County — where Tesla’s Fremont factory resides — did not lift its order.
Bay Area CBS News affiliate KPIX reported that workers began moving in and out of Tesla’s plant in Fremont, California. Photos from local Fox news affiliate KTVU show packed parking lots, further indicating workers had returned Monday morning. One worker dialed into KTVU and told the station he arrived for work at 6 p.m. PT on Sunday with his shift ending 6 a.m. Monday morning.
The worker said Tesla is “up and running” and expressed concerns the plant is not following health guidelines. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.
Alameda County officials released a statement in regards to Tesla’s reopening on Monday, saying it had “learned that the Tesla factory in Fremont had opened beyond Minimum Basic Operations.”
“We have notified Tesla that they can only maintain Minimum Basic Operations until we have an approved plan that can be implemented in accordance with the local public health Order. We are addressing this matter using the same phased approach we use for other businesses which have violated the Order in the past, and we hope that Tesla will likewise comply without further enforcement measures,” the county said in its statement, which was emailed to Roadshow. “We are actively communicating our feedback and understand Tesla will submit a site-specific plan later today as required under the State of California guidance and checklist for manufacturing issued on May 7. We look forward to reviewing Tesla’s plan and coming to agreement on protocol and a timeline to reopen safely.”