Science

Tesla moves its headquarters from Silicon Valley to Texas


<p> A Tesla charging station in Hawthorne, California, in January 2021 </p>
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<p class=Tesla will move its headquarters from California to Texas, where the electric vehicle maker is building a new factory, Chief Elon Musk said Thursday.

The capricious businessman, who has repeatedly clashed with California authorities since the start of the pandemic over health regulations he deemed too strict, left Los Angeles in 2020 after having lived there for a long time.

“I am pleased to announce that we will move our headquarters to Austin,” he said at Tesla’s annual general shareholders meeting.

That doesn’t mean Tesla is leaving the West Coast entirely, Musk said right away.

“To be clear, we will continue to expand our activities in California,” including increased production at the Fremont plant, he said.

But, the businessman also remarked, “it cannot be expanded to infinity in the San Francisco Bay,” where density is important, the high cost of living and circulation is often difficult.

While in Austin, the plant is located “five minutes from the airport and fifteen minutes from downtown.”


<p> Tesla boss Elon Musk on March 9, 2020 in Washington </p>
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<p class=Musk justified his personal move last year by the need to be as close as possible to the two projects that then took up most of his time: the development of rockets by his space company SpaceX in the south of the state. And building a Tesla car plant near Austin.

For Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, Elon Musk’s frustration with California authorities “certainly accelerated” the decision to move to Texas. But it’s a “smart” strategic choice, he adds, as Tesla plans to build the Model 3 and Model Y sedans there, as well as the Cybertruck pickup and semi truck.

– Fixed in diversity –

In announcing his Texas business Thursday, Elon Musk takes a bit of the opposite direction from several large American companies, which recently openly criticized the state following the adoption of a particularly restrictive abortion law.

IT giant Salesforce, for example, offered its help to employees who wanted to leave Texas.

But Tesla is also following the lead of Oracle and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which headed to Texas in 2020.


<p> A Tesla dealer in Amsterdam, October 2019 </p>
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<p class=Oracle then explained that this move would be conducive to its growth and would provide “more flexibility to (its) staff on where and how to work.”

Texas has also done its best in recent years to attract companies with tax incentives. And the state is known for the absence of income tax, a priori element in favor of Elon Musk, currently the richest man in the world according to the Bloomberg ranking.

With its listed university and rich cultural life, Austin, meanwhile, has become an attractive location for tech companies.

Speaking on a stage set up in front of the factory under construction on the outskirts of the city, wearing a black T-shirt adorned with a scarf around his neck, Elon Musk also said that business was going well for the group.

Tesla announced in early October that it had delivered a record number of vehicles in the third quarter, against a market plagued by semiconductor shortages.

Shareholders, however, made a slight inconvenience Thursday by voting a priori by majority, against the advice of Tesla’s board of directors, for a resolution asking the group to be more transparent about its practices in terms of diversity.

The vote, which has yet to be confirmed by an official count, comes days after a California jury decision to order the company to pay a former black employee $ 137 million in damages for turning a blind eye. On the racism suffered by man. in a Tesla factory.

Among other things, the proposal asks that Tesla provide details on the distribution of employees by gender and ethnicity and that the board evaluate the effectiveness of the measures taken by the group in terms of recruitment or promotion.

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