Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said Thursday the company will be moving its headquarters from Palo Alto, California, to Austin, Texas, a decision coming in context of the tech billionaire’s turbulent relationship with California.
“I’m excited to announce that we’re moving our headquarters to Austin, Texas,” Musk told the company’s annual meeting on Oct. 7, held in Tesla’s vehicle assembly plant that’s still under construction outside of Austin, Texas.
Musk made it clear, however, that the move doesn’t mean Tesla’s winding down operations in California.
“To be clear we will be continuing to expand our activities in California,” Musk said. “Our intention is to increase output from Fremont and Giga Nevada by 50 percent. If you go to our Fremont factory it’s jammed.”
The Tesla chief added that high housing costs in California were squeezing Tesla’s ability to scale up in the Bay Area. Musk added that he expects it will be some time before the Austin factory is operating at full capacity even after it’s complete.
The move comes after Musk confirmed late last year that he had relocated from California to Texas and now calls the Lone Star state his home. That came after his feud earlier in 2020 with local authorities over pandemic-related shutdown orders.
After Tesla’s Fremont plant was shuttered in March 2020 following a COVID-19 related shelter-in-place order, Musk sued Alameda County, seeking an injunction against the order and threatening to move his company’s headquarters out of state.
“Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependent on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA,” Musk wrote in a tweet at the time.
Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependen on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2020
By Tom Ozimek