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Police investigate a homicide at Tesla Fremont factory [Updated]

The Fremont Police Department announced that its homicide detectives are investigating a “suspicious death” that occurred at Tesla Fremont factory yesterday, December 13.

Update 5:17 PM: the death has been updated as a homicide by the Fremont Police. A suspect has been arrested and police have released a press release with more information. It seems to have been an altercation between employees.

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Sheriff: Tesla not an ‘essential business,’ factory must obey coronavirus shutdown order

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Tesla must obey the “shelter in place” order put into place in the San Francisco Bay Area and is not allowed to build new cars at its Fremont factory, according to the Alameda County Sheriff’s office.

Tesla will be allowed to maintain “minimum basic operations” at the plant, but this does not include building new cars.



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Tesla could itself call for a union vote at Fremont factory to disprove UAW, says Elon Musk

The United Auto Workers (UAW) has been leading efforts to unionize Tesla’s Fremont factory for the better part of two years and the union spent over $400,000 last year alone on its “Tesla Campaign”, according to their own filings.

Evidently tired of the claims made by the union, Tesla CEO Elon Musk now suggests that the automaker could itself push for a vote in order to show that its workers don’t want to be part of UAW.

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Tesla’s injury rate at Fremont factory criticized in new report amid union push

The injury rate of Tesla’s workers at its Fremont factory came into the spotlight recently, especially last week after Tesla preemptively defended the safety of its factory and warned of a ‘media push’ from the auto workers union, which has been leading a unionization effort at the factory over the past few months.

Now a new report, seemingly still part of the union campaign, is again going after Tesla’s injury rate at Fremont factory – while Tesla insists that it is now the lowest injury rate in the industry.

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Tesla Fremont factory: UAW cranks up the pressure and enlists local groups to push union

The United Auto Workers (UAW) has tentatively probed Tesla’s Fremont factory to potentially join their union on a few occasions in the past few years, but it looked like they quickly let it go. This time appears to be different since the organization has kept the pressure on the company since a first publicized effort in February.

They sent out organizers who have now enlisted “community groups”, mainly labor groups, to call on Elon Musk and Tesla “to revise their strict confidentiality agreement to allow employees to discuss working conditions” – aka “talk about unionizing.”

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Tesla is being sued by employee over alleged ‘race discrimination and sexual harassment’ in bizarre publicized case

Forty four year-old DeWitt Lambert, a production associate at Tesla’s Fremont factory, filed a lawsuit today against his employer for what he refers to as “a racially charged, sexually hostile and physically abusive environment.”

After being filed today, the lawsuit was sent out in a press blast to reporters. Tesla quickly responded to the claims made by Lambert and gave a different account of how the situation was handled. It follows another recently publicized lawsuit against Tesla over allegations of sexism and harassment

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Tesla is being sued by a female engineer over allegations of sexism and harassment

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UpdateTesla responds to allegations of discrimination made by a female engineer, 3rd party review found no wrongdoing

Tesla is the latest company accused of sexism in Silicon Valley after the seemingly rampant problem in the tech industry came back into light last week following similar allegations at Uber.

AJ Vandermeyden, an Operations Commodity Manager at Tesla, filed a lawsuit for “ignoring her complaints of “pervasive harassment”, paying her a lower salary than men doing the same work, promoting less qualified men over her and retaliating against her for raising concerns.”

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Elon Musk addresses Tesla employees in leaked email: claims higher comp than Ford/GM, lower incident rate, & new ‘roller coaster’

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Following a new effort to unionize Tesla’s workforce amid the production expansion for Model 3, claims about the company’s worker compensation and conditions at the Fremont factory were made in order to gain support for a union. These actions CEO Elon Musk believes were deeply influenced by the United Auto Workers (UAW), which has been trying to unionize the plant for years.

Nonetheless, Musk said last week that he would investigate the claims. He has now completed his investigation and addressed the claims in an email to all employees, which Electrek has obtained, below.

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UAW goes on the offensive in attempt to unionize Tesla’s factory, sends out organizers

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The new effort to unionize Tesla’s Fremont Factory saw a new development today as the president of the United Auto Workers (UAW), Dennis Williams, held a press conference during which he answered questions about Tesla.

Williams confirmed that they sent out organizers to help in the effort to unionize the plant and a full campaign could follow.

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Elon Musk investigates state of Tesla Fremont factory following claims of poor working conditions

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Following the new effort to unionize Tesla’s workforce amid the production expansion for Model 3, CEO Elon Musk claimed it was an organized push by the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) to take back the factory.

The effort started with claims of poor salaries and working conditions in a statement from an employee and despite Musk first reducing the claims to a tactic by a “union agitator”, he now says that he is conducting an investigation of the claims made in the statement.

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Tesla’s paint shop is no bottleneck for Model 3, Tesla says ‘on track for 500,000 cars in 2018’

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You might remember the Daily Kanban and Edward Niedermeyer for their report from a few months back that spurred attention on a probe by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on an alleged defect with Tesla’s suspension.

As we reported, the report turned out to be based on bogus complaints to NHTSA and the agency didn’t find any defect.

This week Niedermeyer is back with another hit piece on Tesla. He is now asserting that Tesla’s new paint shop will create a bottleneck for the automaker’s production ramp for the Model 3 due to air quality permits limiting the emissions allowed at the plant.

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New photos of Tesla’s Fremont factory show intense operations for the end of the third quarter

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As we have mentioned, this quarter is important to Tesla because they have the potential to achieve GAAP profitability, according to CEO Elon Musk, which would be the first time in about 3 years. And while many of us understand how crucial of a moment this is for Musk and co., new photos of the Fremont factory show just how intense the operations are at the factory ahead of the end of the quarter.



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‘Tesla Tourism’ bill in California fell through in favor of something completely unrelated

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Earlier this year, we reported on a new bill proposed by Tesla and sponsored by Sen. Bob Wieckowski, whose district is home to Tesla’s Fremont factory, to eliminate the sales tax on new cars manufactured in California for out-of-state buyers. Tesla’s goal was to create a program, which has been referred to as ‘Tesla Tourism’, like several luxury car brands in Europe offer,  which is to pick up your new car at their factory and make an event out of it – it can include a factory tour and a road-trip across Europe.

Despite having virtually no cost for the state since it would eliminate sales tax on sales that are currently not happening, the bill faced opposition from legislators suggesting it only aims at offering tax breaks to rich people able to afford luxury vehicles.

Now we learn that the initiative has been dropped from the bill in favor of something completely unrelated.

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Tesla Model 3: Production equipment is already “on line” at the Fremont Factory

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In its shareholders letter released today for the second quarter 2016, Tesla confirmed that “some Model 3 production equipment is already on line, including initial capacity in stamping and paint centers”. The company also plans the start construction for a “new Model 3 body and general assembly centers” by the end of the year.

The news follows our report from earlier this week that Tesla is ordering enough parts for a fleet of ~300 Model 3 prototypes – though it doesn’t necessarily mean that the company will build that many prototypes.

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Tesla applied for a $106 million tax break on $1.26 billion expansion of Fremont Factory for the Model 3

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A few weeks ago, Tesla closed an important $1.7 billion stock offering to finance its new build plan for the Model 3. The capital raise was needed for Tesla to accelerate its production and achieve a rate of 500,000 cars in 2018 – two years earlier than previously planned.

The new plan is in response to the higher than expected demand for the Model 3. Tesla’s management was expecting 100,000 to 200,000 reservations at best, but the automaker already received over 373,000 reservations.

While Tesla already confirmed that some of the capital would be used for its operations, the company made it clear that most of the money would be put toward an expansion of the Fremont factory to increase production. Now we get a specific number for the expansion as Tesla is applying for a $106 million tax break with the state to help the project.

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Tesla confirms achieving a production rate of 2,000 cars/week and releases new details about its production

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Only three years ago in 2013, Tesla Model S’ first full year of production, the automaker built just over 20,000 vehicles or around 400 per week. Now we learn that Tesla recently achieved for the first time a production rate of 2,000 vehicles per week for an annualized rate of 104,000 cars.

In its last shareholders letter, the company announced that it aimed to exit the second quarter with a production rate of 2,000 vehicles per week – meaning that the company achieved its goal two weeks ahead of schedule. The achievement was crucial for Tesla to reach its delivery goal of 80,000 to 90,000 vehicles in 2016.

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Tesla’s Fremont factory could manufacture up to 1 million vehicles per year, says Musk

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Following Tesla’s announcement that it plans to double its total production output to 500,000 vehicles in 2018 and 1 million in 2020, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was asked by analysts how and where he plans to manufacture those vehicles.

While the company has been talking about plans to build more vehicle factories in Europe and China, Tesla’s Fremont factory remains its only full-fledged car manufacturing facility. Company officials have always referred to the Fremont plant’s total capacity to be around 500,000 cars per year once optimized, which is what Toyota and GM were producing when they owned the factory, until now.

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