Oroville Mercury-Register

Tesla moving HQ from Bay Area to Texas

- By Alex Veiga

Tesla will relocate its headquarte­rs from Palo Alto, California, to Austin, Texas, though the electric car maker will keep expanding its manufactur­ing capacity in the Golden State, CEO Elon Musk said Thursday.

Musk, who last year said he was moving to Texas from California, gave no timeline for the move when he addressed shareholde­rs at Tesla’s annual meeting.

In the early days of the coronaviru­s pandemic, Musk clashed with San Francisco Bay Area health authoritie­s trying to enforce shelter-in-place orders. At the time, he threatened to relocate Tesla’s operations to Texas or Nevada.

On Thursday, however, Musk cited the cost of housing in the Bay Area that has made it tough for many people to become homeowners, translatin­g into long commutes.

“We’re taking it as far as possible, but there’s a limit how big you can scale it in the Bay Area,” he said Thursday. “Just to be clear, though, we will be continuing to expand our activities in California. This is not a matter of leaving California.”

Musk stressed he plans to expand the company’s factory in Fremont, California, where Tesla’s Model S and Model X cars are built, in hopes of increasing its output by 50%.

The announceme­nt drew cheers and applause from the small audience at Tesla’s manufactur­ing plant in Austin, where Musk delivered his remarks, which were webcast live.

While applauding Tesla’s announceme­nt that it will expand production in Fremont, Bay Area business leaders bemoaned the headquarte­rs move as the latest sign of the region’s ongoing issues.

“Mr. Musk’s announceme­nt highlights yet again the urgency for California to address our housing affordabil­ity crisis and the many other challenges that make it so difficult for companies to grow here,” said Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the business advocacy group Bay Area Council.

Last year, tech giant Oracle Corp. decided to move its headquarte­rs from Silicon Valley to Austin, saying the move would give its employees more flexibilit­y about where and how they work. One of Silicon Valley’s founding companies, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, has also said it will move to the Houston area.

At Thursday’s meeting Musk also touted the company’s record vehicle deliveries this year, while noting that global supply-chain disruption­s that have led to a shortage of computer chips remain a challenge.

“It looks like we have a good chance of maintainin­g that into the future,” he said. “Basically, if we get the chips, we can do it.”

As a result, production of Tesla’s angular Cybertruck pickup isn’t likely to begin before the end of 2022, Musk said, estimating that the company would reach “volume” production on the vehicle in 2023.

 ?? JAE C. HONG — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE ?? Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks before unveiling the Model Y at the company’s design studio in Hawthorne.
JAE C. HONG — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks before unveiling the Model Y at the company’s design studio in Hawthorne.

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