Two years after Tesla boss Elon Musk moved his company’s corporate headquarters from California to Texas in 2021 because of the former state’s burdensome regulations, taxes, and COVID policies, he’s now back in the Golden State — somewhat.
Tesla’s corporate headquarters still remain in Texas. However, on Wednesday the company opened its new engineering headquarters in Hewlett-Packard’s former offices in Palo Alto. Musk himself appeared for the grand opening alongside Gov. Gavin Newsom, with whom he’s apparently now good buddies.
Elon Musk meets with California Gov. Newsom at Tesla’s engineering headquarters to discuss expansion. @elonmusk pic.twitter.com/6YFBPXgbL0
— DogeDesigner (@cb_doge) February 22, 2023
“I couldn’t be more proud of California’s commitment to support Tesla over the course of the last few decades. It’s a point of pride, always has been for me, that Tesla is a California company, started here first,” Newsom said during their meeting.
Musk kind of disagreed.
“This was HP’s original headquarters, and so I think it’s a poetic transition from the founders of Silicon Valley to Tesla and we’re very excited to make this our global engineering headquarters. And we’re a California-Texas company,” he told CNBC.
Indeed, it’s true Tesla was started in California. But it’s also true that a fed-up Musk pulled Tesla’s corporate headquarters from the state two years ago because of “overregulation, overlitigation, overtaxation.”
What’s not entirely clear is why he’s returning to California now, especially considering the continued attacks he faces there.
“In August, California’s Department of Motor Vehicles formally accused Tesla of deceptive marketing and advertising practices with its driver assistance programs, and district attorneys in multiple counties are investigating Tesla’s waste segregation practices according to a recent SEC filing,” SFGATE notes.
“The firm is also facing several lawsuits in the state — including one from California’s own Department of Fair Employment and Housing. The complaint, filed a year ago, argues that Tesla’s Fremont plant is a racially segregated workplace, where black employees have been harassed and discriminated against over job assignments, discipline and pay,” according to SFGATE.
Tesla lost an attempt to block a California lawsuit alleging it operates a “racially segregated” workplace. A judge is still set to rule on a motion to dismiss it this week.
Workers report swastikas and managers using slurs, one being called the n-word “approximately 100 times.” pic.twitter.com/vBNHOllwWy
— AJ+ (@ajplus) August 22, 2022
One possible reason for the new location in Palo Alto may be the fact that it lies close to Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco.
As previously reported, Musk purchased the social media network last year to convert it into a true free speech platform.
Unfortunately for conservatives, the move to Palo Alto will be a big boon to California, the most left-wing state in the entire country.
“[F]or Newsom … bringing back the electric sports car company was critical to secure California’s place as the nation’s automobile leader,” local station KTLA reported.
“We are able to lay claim to 44 manufacturing headquarter companies in the electric vehicle space, but none that dominate like Tesla,” Newsom said Wednesday.
Critics who dislike Newsom and California wonder why Musk would effectively do them this favor:
Newsom is vomit, why incite the loser who drove your company out of California?
— Jewels (@OHJULEZ) February 24, 2023
Why on earth were you shaking hands with the devil yesterday. You left California for a reason why on earth come back? For the taxes? Bad move
— cynthia horne (@cynthia49659857) February 23, 2023
Why would you bring your corporate back to California and align yourself with greasy Gavin Newsom he will ruin your image. That’s the stupidest move Tesla has made so far.
— b (@b21925295) February 23, 2023
Why Elon? Why would you want to stay in Communist California?! Newsom is a communist with National ambitions, he ruined beautiful California and want to take it national. You should move Tesla to a red state!
— Helena (@Helena21111) February 23, 2023
Why are you expanding production in California when you could produce cheaper in Florida or Texas or anywhere else red and your workers could afford to buy a place to live? California has become such a shithole everyone with any sense is moving out if they can.
— Stoutbanana (@Stev3Smith) February 24, 2023
In fairness to Newsom, he wasn’t personally involved with Musk relocating Tesla’s headquarters to Texas. If anything, he responded to the original move by praising Musk, not attacking him like other California Democrats.
“When Musk first left for Texas and drew flak from other Democrats, Newsom praised Musk as a great innovator and job creator, and he pointed to the ‘untold amounts of money’ the executive had invested in California,” according to SFGATE.
Conversely, even during Musk’s most intense moments battling California officials, he never aimed his fire at Newsom.
“When Musk was raging against his Fremont plant’s closure in the early days of the pandemic, he focused his ire on Alameda County officials, whom he accused of not following Newsom’s [reopening] plan at the time, which would have allowed the plant to reopen,” SFGATE notes.
Even now, he continues to direct his criticism elsewhere.
“I think California should be cautious about taxes and over regulations going too far,” he told CNBC this week.
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