Tesla reportedly plans to restart its California plant as soon as Friday as the state lifts coronavirus restrictions for manufacturers.
The electric-car maker wants to resume production at the Bay Area factory on Friday afternoon, CEO Elon Musk told employees in a Thursday email reported by Bloomberg News. Tesla shut down assembly lines there in March because of local lockdown measures meant to curb the coronavirus pandemic.
Tesla’s announcement came as California Gov. Gavin Newsom said manufacturers could start to reopen Friday in line with guidance for preventing the virus. Musk — who recently called coronavirus lockdowns “fascist” — responded to the news on Twitter with an enthusiastic “Yeah!!”
But Newsom has said the state won’t supersede stricter measures like those in Alameda County, which forced Tesla to idle its Fremont plant. The county’s “shelter in place” order does not include manufacturers in the list of essential businesses that can operate normally during the virus crisis.
“We believe those local communities that have separate timelines should be afforded the capacity to advance those timelines,” Newsom said at a Monday news conference. “If they choose not to come into compliance with the state guidelines, they have that right.”
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday morning. Alameda County did not immediately answer a message asking whether Tesla’s plant would be allowed to resume production.
Tesla has also halted production at its factory in New York, which has also imposed lockdowns to stem the spread of the virus. The company was scheduled to reopen its Nevada plant with restrictions in place this week, according to news reports.
Tesla shares were up 1.6 percent in premarket trading at $792.50 as of 7:19 a.m.
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