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Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced yesterday that the company will relocate its headquarters from California to Texas, a move that Musk warned would happen last year during restrictive COVID lockdowns.
“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 [sic] on how Tesla is treated in the future,” Musk tweeted in May of last year.
Now the eccentric billionaire is making good on his promise, telling investors at the annual stockholder meeting that Tesla will permanently move from Palo Alto to Austin, Texas, where one of his vehicle assembly plants already operates. The move follows in the footsteps of other major companies like Oracle and HP fleeing the highly-regulated, overtaxed confines of California for the relaxation of a red state.
Even though tax laws certainly contributed mightily to the decision, Musk chalked up the move to opportunities to scale production and improve quality of life for employees.
“It’s tough for people to afford houses, and people have to come in from far away,” Musk said. “There’s a limit to how big you can scale in the Bay Area. In Austin our factory is like five minutes from the airport, 15 minutes from Downtown.”
Musk also said that Tesla will continue operating in California in a limited capacity.
“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%. If you go to our Fremont factory it’s jammed.”
Musk said Tesla plans to build “an ecological paradise” at the Austin location near the Colorado River.