Electric Automaker Tesla is Forced to Reduce its Workforce By 75% at its Fremont, California Factory
As the San Francisco Bay Area remains under a multi-county shelter-in-place order to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, businesses are being forced to temporarily close and keep their employees at home, including electric automaker Tesla.
Tesla's Fremont, California factory is located in Alameda County, which is one of the Bay Area counties under the mandatory shelter-in-place order, therefore the electric carmaker must cease all "non essential" operations, which includes vehicle production.
The county sheriff's office said this week that Tesla was not considered an essential business and cannot continue to operate its factory normally.
The Fremont factory is Tesla's only U.S. production facility, building all of Tesla's vehicles, including the new Model Y crossover. Deliveries of the first Model Y's to customers began just this week. Now those deliveries are in question and being delayed.
The Fremont factory employs more than 10,000 workers and Tesla must reduce it by 75%, according to a county official that spoke with the automaker. However, as of yesterday, country officials could not confirm that Tesla has ceased making cars, including the Model 3 and Model Y.
"They told us they had gone from about 10,000 individual employees to about 2,500," a county offical said. "It sounds to me like they very well could still be making cars. We are continuing to stress to them that they must move to minimum basic operations, if they are still making cars."
The county sheriff's office said Tesla was not considered an essential business under that order and cannot continue to operate its factory normally, but indicated that there are other priorities the county must address besides the Tesla factory, as the shelter-in-place order is affecting millions of Bay Area residents and most of the local businesses.
"Tesla needs to comply with the health order," he said, adding that the county did not want to force people into compliance, but implement changes with their consent.
The spokesman said the county has had very good communications with Tesla, which had been very helpful navigating the issue.
Tesla did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
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