Parking lots at Tesla’s Fremont, California, factory were full today as the factory comes alive again despite not being given permission to do so by Alameda County officials. According to one report, Tesla made around 200 Model Ys in recent days.
Tesla seemingly hasn’t commented to anyone (including me) about just what the hell it is doing, which fits a pattern in recent months of the company seemingly ignoring everybody. But Tesla’s employees are a little looser-lipped.
There’s one person who just called up a dang TV station:
KTVU received a call from a Tesla employee who said he was at work from 6 p.m. Sunday until 6 a.m. Monday. He said Tesla is “up and running” and he feels like health guidelines aren’t being followed.
Tesla did not immediately respond if they’re starting production again.
And these two who spoke with The Verge:
Tesla began making cars again at its Fremont, California plant over the weekend despite an ongoing battle with local officials about whether it should remain closed during the pandemic, The Verge has learned. The company called back some of its workers and has completed around 200 cars Model Y and Model 3 vehicles, according to two current employees. This all happened as CEO Elon Musk threatened on Twitter to move Tesla’s operations out of state and sued the county over its stay-home order.
Other workers are being told to report to work later this week, according to these employees, who were granted anonymity out of fear of retribution.
And all of these people who just showed up to work:
On Monday, shift workers were seen streaming in and out of parking lots at the sprawling plant.
This is all despite county health officials not giving Tesla the go-ahead just yet, which prompted a lawsuit and a tantrum from CEO Elon Musk over the weekend. Musk also told workers last week that they shouldn’t come into work if they don’t feel comfortable, though even Elon has to know that’s not a privilege many of them can afford.
The statement issued Saturday by Alameda County health officials—that they were working on a “collaborative, good faith effort to develop and implement a safety plan” with Tesla—was about as diplomatic as it could be under the circumstances. But Elon has a way of reminding you that he doesn’t think the rules apply to him. Shoot first, ask questions later.
Update, 4:45 p.m.: Musk confirmed the restart “against Alameda County rules.” Elon’s also ready to be a martyr now.
He also pinned the following tweet.
Update, 6:37 p.m.: The whole situation’s getting a little confusing to be honest.