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Some of the electric vehicle maker's workers returned to the plant on Wednesday to prepare for resuming some of the production between now and next week, people familiar with the matter told the Chronicle. Safety measures are being put in place to protect employees against the transmission of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), according to Chronicle.
California Governor Gavin Newsom earlier this week announced that "some retail and manufacturing/logistics" will be allowed to resume business "with modifications" starting Friday. It's not immediately clear if the relaxation would apply to Tesla under the governor's notification.
Nevertheless, Alameda County, where Tesla's factory is located, currently only allows for companies to maintain "minimum basic operations" at their plants under its shelter-in-place orders. "We're all sort of in a little bit of a gray area," a spokesperson for the Fremont Police Department, Geneva Bosques, told the Chronicle on Newsom's announcement. Bosques added that Tesla resuming production at the factory would be in violation of Alameda County health orders, but "having a small team of people in there (who) are social distancing may not violate the health order."
Why It Matters
Tesla shut down its Fremont factory in March after back and forth communication with Alameda County officials, who determined that the automaker wasn't an essential business and couldn't operate as usual during the pandemic. The company's CEO Elon Musk has been particularly critical of the lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus, referring to it as "fascist," and has called for a reopening of the economy.
Tesla beat analyst estimates in its first-quarter earnings report earlier this month.
Tesla's shares closed 1.87% higher at $782.58 on Wednesday. The shares traded 0.4% lower at $779.50 in the after-hours session.
Photo courtesy of Tesla.
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