Musk’s high-profile confrontation with local government regulations and the forced resumption of the Tesla plant have created an embarrassing challenge for the California government. Acquiescing to Tesla’s violations will only lead to other businesses resisting, and government decrees will lose credibility and enforce power. But they are reluctant to lose big jobs like Tesla at a time when the economy is in the dying.
Sina Technology Zheng Jun from Silicon Valley, USA
Forced violation of the resumption of production
Today’s San Francisco Bay Area is a bit cold, not the summer feel of the previous few days. At 5:30 p.m., Sina Tech reporters drove to the door of Tesla’s factory in Fremont, East Bay, and saw vehicles already waiting for NBC and other media. At the right time, employees wearing red access cards walked out of the factory and went to the staff bus and parking lot parked at the door. The previous day was empty parking lot, and at least half of the vehicles have been parked today.
Obviously, it’s already a busy start. Tesla’s only auto assembly plant in North America was partially reopened over the weekend, and about 200 Model Y and Model 3s were produced. Tesla has reportedly told other workers to return to work in a few days and will return to work this week. Slightly surprised, many of the off-duty employees who came out did not wear masks.
Tesla and Musk have become the focus of media attention. The plant was not approved for safety assessment and construction by the Alameda County government. Because he was not allowed to return to work, an angry Musk threatened to move Tesla’s headquarters to Texas, ignoring a county government’s ban to force a resumption of production. Tesla also sued the Alameda County government in The California District Court.
Tesla doesn’t need to advertise, Musk brings its own traffic. At the analyst meeting, he blasted the anti-epidemic home order as fascist, publicly declared that Tesla’s stock price was too high (ignoring the SEC settlement agreement), announced on Twitter that it was selling his property, welcomed his sixth son (six all sons), and took a sci-fi name, criticizing Buffett for not looking at the financial report as an investment. For the past ten days, he has dominated the tech media.
The forced resumption of work by the public bull-and-a-half Alameda County Government was just another act of rebellion. After reopening work, Musk publicly challenged the county government on Twitter today: California’s government agreed to resume work, but county officials disagreed. Other U.S. auto plants have been allowed to start, and only Tesla can’t. Mess. He also directly defiantly said: “The Tesla factory is the return of life, I am in the factory.” If you want to catch people, just catch me alone. “
I’ve wanted to go back to production for a long time.
As for the Fremont plant, Musk has long been a belly fire. On March 16th the San Francisco Bay Area announced that it would be the first in the Country to declare control, but that it was not a “people’s essential company”, but refused to shut down and even encouraged employees to stay on to work, until the media came out and the Alameda County government warned that it was reluctant to announce the shutdown on March 23, a full week longer than other businesses.
Musk also doesn’t think the new crown outbreak is terrible. While the U.S. outbreak has grown sharply in March, Musk has repeatedly said on Twitter that “it’s stupid to panic about the new corona” and that “the death rate of the new crown is exaggerated” and that “panic is far more damaging than the new crown itself.” Musk also told SpaceX employees that traffic accidents are more scary than the new crown, and that he will stick to work.
After the U.S. became the world’s first major affected area, Musk announced that Tesla would switch to a ventilator to help fight the epidemic, and he then purchased more than 1,000 ventilators from China to donate to the two worst-hit cities of Los Angeles and New York. Musk owns six mansions in Bel-Air, a Los Angeles mansion (two have been listed for sale), an estate on Silicon Valley’s Central Peninsula, and a weekly private jet ride back and forth between Tesla and SpaceX in Los Angeles.
After the recent federal government urged the resumption of work, Musk is in a hurry to resume work, which is only a conference call burst the scene. Plant shutdowns mean that Tesla cannot deliver, is unable to get cash flow, accelerates valuable capital consumption and affects Tesla’s stated goal of a positive cash flow. Tesla has three plants in the U.S., a solar cell plant in New York, a car battery plant in Nevada and a car assembly plant in Fremont.
Last week, California Governor Newson announced changes to the plan to reopen the economy, allowing some stores and factories to start production while keeping the epidemic safe. But several san Francisco Bay Area county governments have decided to keep the Bay Area home order in place until the end of the month, with the Alameda County government, where the Fremont plant is located, in order to ensure safety. The female official son,who is in charge of the Alameda County Government Health Department’s return to work, also believes the Tesla plant is not ready for epidemic safety and will need to wait another week. The woman is an infectious disease specialist who has been in the industry for more than two decades.
Threatening the government sparks controversy
Musk, who thought he had seen the return of Sugon, was so furious that he decided to sue the Alameda County government while forcing the resumption of production. Musk angrily announced on Twitter, “This is the last straw, Tesla headquarters and future plans to immediately travel to Texas and Nevada.” Whether the Fremont plant is retained will be subordinated to the treatment we will receive later. Tesla is the last car factory in California. “
It’s important to stress that “all the other automakers that Musk’s slotted off” are not in the San Francisco Bay Area; the Alameda County government didn’t mean to target Tesla, but refused to give Tesla special treatment. But his tough approach also poses a problem for the Alameda County government: If Tesla threatens to give them the green light, what credibility does the county government’s ordinance have?
Musk’s decision to publicly confront the county government has caused considerable controversy. He has his own supporters and many critics. Adrian Fine, the mayor of Palo Alto, where Tesla is headquartered, retweeted Musk’s tweet, “I am sad and disappointed that Tesla is leaving Palo Alto and is ready to help.” Musk thanked for the response.
Meanwhile, California Rep. Lorena Gonzalez is unhappy with Tesla’s public resistance to and threats to the government: “Tesla received $4.9 billion in subsidies from the U.S. government, and california alone gave more than $1 billion.” He is now publicly violating government decrees. “At the end of the day, she bursts out of her mouth,” Fxxk Elon Musk said. Musk specifically took a hit with the tweet, which insulted himself.
Robert Reich, a former Labor secretary under the Clinton administration and a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, also criticized Musk on Twitter, saying, “Tesla stopped paying thousands of factory workers, and Musk received a $700 million bonus .” Now, because he was not allowed to start work, he threatened to close the Fremont plant. Rich has 880,000 followers on Twitter and is a well-known American scholar and opinion leader. After his public criticism, Ritchie found himself blacked out by Musk.
According to WorldOmeter, more than 4,400 people have been confirmed and 200 have died in Santa Clara and Alameda counties, where Tesla’s headquarters and factories are located. Santa Clara County, which has a population of two million, has conducted fewer than 42,000 nucleic acid tests.
Governments at all levels do not mention penalties
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said Monday afternoon that it was aware of the forced start of construction at Tesla’s Fremont plant and notified Tesla about the violation, which must be approved by the county health department before it can begin. But the statement did not say whether or how Tesla’s violations would be punished. California Gov. Mike Newsom tried to play down the situation, proposing to allow tesla plants to resume work as soon as next week.
However, the mayor’s attitude is perhaps the most critical, as the specific penalty decisionise is made by the city of Fremont. Lily Mei, Fremont’s Chinese-American mayor, said that “many of the companies that are necessary have proven that they can work with strict safety, and I believe that manufacturing can implement these safety regulations, especially those that are critical to employment in the city”. She also did not say whether to punish Tesla, but instead actively encouraged Tesla to communicate with the county government to obtain a formal permit to start.
This is an awkward time for california and local governments. California’s government faces a $54.3 billion budget deficit next summer as revenues fall and spending soars as a result of the economic slowdown. California’s government expects tax revenue for the fiscal year to be $41.2 billion, or 25 percent, lower than it had expected four months ago. State tax revenue comes mainly from personal income tax, corporate income tax and sales tax. Unemployment is even more a problem, with nearly 4.5 million new jobs in California since mid-March, and the unemployment rate could eventually reach 25 percent.
At times like these, California governments are reluctant to lose big businesses and employers like Tesla. Tesla employs 10,000 people in Silicon Valley. Perhaps Musk is also convinced that the California government is afraid to enforce Tesla’s strict enforcement, let alone arrest himself for publicly violating the ban. But after Tesla’s forced resistance, will other corporate giants follow suit, and how much credibility and enforcement does the California government’s decree have?
Behind the angry Musk is the awkward California government. Shouldn’t Tesla be given special treatment? For now, it seems to be acquiescing.