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Tesla goes on offensive to reopen Fremont factory with lawsuit and PR push

Tesla is going on the offensive to reopen the Fremont factory with a new lawsuit and a PR push against Alameda County, California.

As we reported, Elon Musk made a series of threats on Twitter earlier today due to Alameda County stopping them from reopening Fremont factory.

Among those threats, Musk said that Tesla will move its headquarters and some manufacturing from California to Texas and Nevada due to the local response to the coronavirus.

He also said that Tesla would file a lawsuit against Alameda County, and he wasn’t lying.

A few hours after making the threat, Tesla filed a lawsuit against the county, claiming that they are “violating multiple federal and state constitutional principles” in preventing them from reopening the factory.

Here’s the lawsuit in full:

[scribd id=460703841 key=key-0ifJM2HJ59HnM7TCVXL3 mode=scroll]

On top of the legal approach, Tesla is also making a PR offensive.

Musk has himself been vocal about his opposition to shelter-in-place orders and especially Alameda County’s pandemic response on Twitter, but now Tesla is also issuing an official response.

The automaker has published a new blog post in which they laid out reasons why they should be allowed to reopen:

Tesla is the last major carmaker remaining in California, and the largest manufacturing employer in the State with more than 10,000 employees at our Fremont factory and 20,000 statewide. We understand the impacts COVID-19 has caused and have a responsibility to look out for the livelihoods and safety of our personnel, many of whom rely on us and have been out of work for weeks due to the impacts of shelter-in-place orders.

Like Musk before, Tesla argues that the California governor’s recent guidance should be enough of an authorization to move forward with the restart of Fremont factory.

Governor Gavin Newsom always said that it is up to the individual counties to follow the guidance on their own timeline.

Along with the blog post, Tesla also published a 37-page “Return to Work Playbook” that lists in details all the steps the company is taking to facilitate the restart of the factory while protecting their workers:

[scribd id=460705637 key=key-QGkxSbvxHIQnsOPzXYx4 mode=scroll]

Electrek’s Take

This is what Tesla should have always done without Elon’s comments.

Threatening to move Tesla’s California operations, which involves 20,000 employees, is crazy.

On the other hand, Tesla’s response is clear and backed by a clearer argument than what Elon can put forward in a few hundred characters on Twitter.

Now whether it’s going to work, I don’t know, but I think it has a better chance of working than Elon going on Twitter rants.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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