Elon Musk announces California factory reopening against government guidance

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Elon Musk restarted production at Tesla's only USA auto plant, flouting county officials who ordered the company to stay closed and openly acknowledging he was risking arrest for himself and his employees.

After Musk's tweet, Alameda county health officials issued a statement saying Tesla's Fremont plant was operating beyond what was allowed and that it hoped the company would "comply without further enforcement measures".

Musk wrote he would "be on the line", a reference to the assembly line at the factory where Tesla makes the Model X, Model S, Model 3 and Model Y. He added "if anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me".

Musk, in a tweet confirming the resumption of production, practically dared authorities to arrest him.

Tesla contended in the lawsuit that Alameda County should not be more restrictive than orders from California Governor Gavin Newsom and federal guidelines that classify vehicle manufacturing as an essential businesses.

The Alameda County Public Health Department said on Monday it was "actively communicating" with Tesla about reopening plans and that it was taking the same approach it had taken with other business that had violated lockdown orders.

Mr Musk wrote on Twitter that Tesla had been "singled out", saying that other U.S. carmakers were allowed to restart production.

Writing on Twitter, Musk said: "Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules". Tesla filed a lawsuit later that day against Alameda County seeking injunctive relief.

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In response to Alameda county's restrictions, Musk stated "Tesla will now transfer its headquarters and future packages to Texas/Nevada instantly".

Over the weekend, Tesla sued Alameda County over its public health order, which local officials responded to by saying they were engaging with the company in good faith to balance business needs with local safety. While governments across the globe are going back and forth on lifting or easing down the restrictions, one person who has become impatient in the prolonged shutdown is Elon Musk.

"Frankly, this is the final straw", Musk wrote in a now-deleted tweet. "Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA", said Musk.

The governor has repeatedly said that counties can impose restrictions that are more stringent than state orders.

The county said it has worked "in good faith" with the electric vehicle manufacturer on a plan that "ensures the safety of their thousands of employees and the communities in which they live and work". Ray Kelly said Monday that he didn't know whether Tesla has reopened and that this is in the "attorney phase".

"Your neighbors here to the East of you in Las Vegas, Nevada, would welcome you with open arms if you are looking for a new home for your California operation", Fiore said in a statement addressed to Musk and shared to the mayor's Twitter account.

The lack of production in Fremont is a big financial strain on the company. On a conference call last month, Musk called the closure of Fremont a "serious risk".

A sign bearing Tesla's logo in California's Silicon Valley is pictured in 2018.

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