Alameda County in California has clarified that Tesla isn’t an “essential business”, ordering the EV maker to limit its Fremont factory down to the “minimum basic operations”.
The news come one day after Tesla and Elon Musk told employees that Fremont would continue its operations as normal despite the shelter-in-place lockdown order issued by the county, asking workers who feel ill “or even uncomfortable” to not come to work.
The clarification means that Tesla will now have to shut down manufacturing and deliveries from Fremont, which employs more than 10,000 workers, for the duration of the order.
Tesla: @Tesla is not an essential business as defined in the Alameda County Health Order. Tesla can maintain minimum basic operations per the Alameda County Health Order.
— Alameda County Sheriff (@ACSOSheriffs) March 17, 2020
“Tesla is not an essential business as defined in the Alameda County Health Order. Tesla can maintain minimum basic operations per the Alameda County Health Order,” the Alameda County Sheriff said on Twitter.
Alameda is one of the at least nine counties covered by the shelter-in-place lockdown order, which limits travel and business activities down to the most essential and advises the public to stay home in a bid to control and limit the coronavirus outbreak. Under the lockdown, Tesla’s Fremont factory would be limited down to the minimum basic operations, including maintaining the value of the business’s inventory, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits.
The order hits Tesla’s only US factory in the middle of a production ramp-up of the new Model Y SUV, which is expected to see higher demand than all of the other Tesla models combined. Tesla was forced to shut down its factory in Shanghai, China for 10 days earlier this year.