Tesla faces order to stop making cars at California factory, under coronavirus lockdown

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, with a Model S car. Photo: Reuters, 2016

Tesla has agreed to cut down on the number of active workers inside Elon Musk's electric vehicle factory in Fremont, CA, but authorities say they have yet to comply with other coronavirus lockdown measures, like not making more cars right now.

“Tesla needs to comply with the health order,” said a county spokesman Wednesday.

The factory in Fremont is the only Tesla auto factory in the United States, and more than 10,000 people work there.

From Reuters:

“They told us they had gone from about 10,000 individual employees to about 2,500,” he said. “It sounds to me like they very well could still be making cars. We are continuing to stress to them that they must move to minimum basic operations, if they are still making cars.”

Basic operations include maintaining the value of inventory, ensuring security and processing payroll and employee benefits.

Alameda County, where the factory is based, is one of six covered by an order from regional officials to “shelter in place,” which limits activity, travel and business functions to only the most essential, and advises people to stay home except for the most crucial reasons. The county sheriff’s office said on Tuesday afternoon Tesla was not considered an essential business under that order and cannot continue to operate its factory normally.

Reuters witnesses on Wednesday morning saw thousands of cars in the factory’s employee parking lot in Fremont, California, and employees were going to work as several 18-wheeler container trucks were seen pulling into the factory grounds. A trailer hauling two white Tesla Model 3s and a white Model X was seen leaving the factory mid-morning local time.

Read more at reuters.com:
Tesla to limit workers at California factory with virus lockdown order, county says
[Stephen Nellis, Nathan Frandino, Shannon Stapleton]