Employees, nearby businesses react after Elon Musk threatens to move Tesla out of CA

Bay Area

FREMONT, Calif. (KRON) — Elon Musk is threatening to move Tesla’s headquarters out of California if he’s not allowed to reopen his factory in Fremont.

Thousands of Tesla employees could lose their jobs if the plant in Fremont closed and this small business would lose a lot of customers.

Before COVID-19, Taqueria Las Vegas is usually bustling, a popular lunch spot amongst Tesla employees.

“We would get a lot of business from Tesla employees,” Alex Garcia said. “But with the shelter-in-place you know it’s kind of slowed down, it’s calmed down it’s not the same as it was before.”

Garcia’s family owns the restaurant that is located directly across the street from Tesla.

But it’s not the first time the owners experienced loss of customers.

Prior to Tesla, the facility was the Nummi plant – manufactured by Toyota. It shut down in 2010.

Business picked up when Tesla moved in.

“I have friends who work at Tesla and that’s their livelihood,” Garcia said. “Some of these people are driving from Tracy, Stockton, all the way over here to work. I believe they work like 10 hour shifts like rolling shifts. It doesn’t just impact just one business but a whole community.”

According to a Tesla employee, the restaurants nearby would also lose customers, even a brewery.

And it’s not just the restaurants that would be impacted. At least two local distributors could potentially lose Tesla as an account.

That same employee said Tesla orders from motion industries in Newark and S and S supplies and Solutions in Fremont.

Both sell cleaning supplies, tools and personal protective equipment.

Tesla is the only automaker with a factory in California.

Toyota, General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler all plan to re-open their plants across the country this month.

In a series of tweets Saturday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company is filing a lawsuit against Alameda County immediately after the shelter in place order in the county had been extended through May.

Musk went on to tweet he will move its headquarters to Texas and Nevada.

Fremont council members spoke to KRON4 on Saturday, expressing concerns about job losses.

The mayors of Fremont and Palo Alto said in a statement and tweet – they support Tesla.

In a statement, Alameda County says the public health department has been working with Tesla executives and look forward to coming to an agreement on an appropriate safety plan very soon.

The Alameda County Health Care Services Agency and the Public Health Department have been communicating directly and working closely with the Tesla team on the ground in Fremont. This has been a collaborative, good faith effort to develop and implement a safety plan that allows for reopening while protecting the health and well-being of the thousands of employees who travel to and from work at Tesla’s factory.

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.

We greatly value and support the important role of small and large businesses to our local economy and our communities. We appreciate that our residents and businesses have made tremendous sacrifices and that together we have been able to save lives and protect community health in our region. We need to continue to work together so those sacrifices don’t go to waste and that we maintain our gains. It is our collective responsibility to move through the phases of reopening and loosening the restrictions of the Shelter-in-Place Order in the safest way possible, guided by data and science.

We do not have any further comment and will not be taking any requests for interviews.

Statement from Alameda County

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