Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the company would be moving its headquarters from Palo Alto, California to Austin, Texas. He announced the news at the 2021 Tesla, Inc. annual meeting of stockholders, which took place at Austin.
Tesla aims at increasing production at its plant in Fremont, California, by some 50 per cent. He did not elaborate on how he would achieve such an increase in production.
“I’m excited to announce that we’re moving our headquarters to Austin, Texas,” he said. “Just to be clear, though, we will be continuing to expand our activities in California.”
Talking about the inaugural plant in Silicon Valley, Musk said, “When we first went in there it was it like a kid in his parents’ shoes; tiny us and this giant factory.”
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He added, “Now, it’s like a spam can. We are hitting the sides of the bowl.”
He further highlighted that the cost of living in Silicon Valley is high for workers.
Musk had clashed with regulators in California and is among high-profile tech figures who personally left the state for places with lower income taxes and less regulation.
Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives termed it as a “smart strategic move” as he said, “We believe this was the first step towards Tesla making Austin its domestic and global foundational location over the coming decade with its recent frustration with California officials likely accelerating this move.”
Meanwhile, earlier this week, a California jury ordered Tesla to pay $137 million to Owen Diaz, a Black former employee who accused the carmaker of ignoring racial abuse he faced while working there.
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“They awarded an amount that could be a wake-up call for American corporations,” said civil rights attorney Larry Organ, who represented the former Tesla worker.
“Don’t engage in racist conduct and don’t allow racist conduct to continue.”
Human resources vice president Valerie Capers Workman downplayed the allegations of racist abuse in the lawsuit. However, he acknowledged that at the time Diaz worked there, Tesla “was not perfect.”