Musk announces move at annual shareholder meeting
Details are scant so far, but the announcement is big. All pretty par for the course for Tesla and enigmatic billionaire CEO Elon Musk, who told shareholders Thursday, “I’m excited to announce we are moving our headquarters to Austin, Texas.”
The move might be seen as a strike against California after Musk clashed with Alameda County officials, filing a lawsuit in 2020 over COVID-related shutdowns of the Tesla factory there, which he dropped soon after. But Musk made no mention of that in his remarks during the electric car company’s annual shareholder event. Rather, he pledged the company would continue expanding in California as well.
“This isn’t a matter of Tesla leaving California, our intention is to actually increase output,” he said.
Musk did cite the housing and space crunch in the Bay Area as a reason to grow in Texas.
“It’s tough for people to afford houses and people have to come in from far away,” he said. “There’s a limit to how big you can scale it in the Bay Area. In Austin, our factory is like five minutes from the airport, 15 minutes from downtown.”
Tesla previously announced a “Gigafactory” in Austin that will produce the Cybertruck, Model 3, Model Y, Semi, and batteries. Musk also hinted at an ATV the company might build there. Musk did not specify whether Tesla would build a new Austin headquarters next to the Gigafactory on its 2,100-acre property, but he did say “we’re going to create an ecological paradise, because we’re right on the Colorado River.”
Shareholders did press Tesla to provide more information about its workforce diversification practices after the company was ordered to pay $137 million to a former contractor who suffered racial abuse and discrimination at the Fremont. Calif., factory. It’s believed to be the largest payout for a single-plaintiff racial harassment case in U.S. history.