U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc continues to operate its Fremont factory when San Francisco's Bay Area begins a three-week lockdown to rein in the spread of a coronavirus, drawing an irk among the Twitter users. Elon Musk said he has ordered to continue building the Tesla electric cars as he thinks they are 'Essential Items'.
Tesla's sole U.S. auto factory in Alameda county employs more than 10,000 workers and had annualized production of slightly over 415,000 units by the fourth quarter.
However, the Alameda county Sheriff has now come forward saying building Tesla cars is not as 'Essential'as Elon Musk thinks. Taking on Twitter, the Sheriff wrote - '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 county is one of six covered by a 'shelter in place' order from regional authorities that limits activity, travel and business functions to only the most essential, and advises people to stay home except for the most crucial reasons.
Citing a county spokesman, the Los Angeles Times said Alameda county had declared Tesla an "essential business" that is allowed to remain in operation.
In an internal memo on Monday, Chief Executive Elon Musk told Tesla employees he was not aware of any who had tested positive for the virus and urged them to stay home if they felt the "slightest bit ill or even uncomfortable," sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Bay Area counties reported 273 virus infections by Monday. California has reported six deaths from the respiratory illness.
With Inputs from Reuters