Those in the auto industry are well acquainted with the concept of “bait and switch.” This is where a retailer runs an appealing ad for a car or other good at a great price, but when you drive to the retailer to get the great deal, you find out that good isn’t available and the salesperson then tries to sell you a higher priced good. If the retailer clearly marks this as a limited-quantity, Black Friday door buster, I have no problem with it, but if the retailer gives the impression this is generally available, it is a less than honest advertising technique. That is what I feel certain levels of government are doing with their emergency restrictions due to COVID-19.
We covered the shutdown a month and a half ago here, when California (and the county) announced the stay-at-home order. Governor Newsom specifically said, “This is not a permanent state, this is a moment in time,” he said. “We will look back at these decisions as pivotal.” It seems since that time the objectives have changed. While the hospitals are less busy that normal, since we stopped so much “elective” medical care, in some areas, nurses and doctors are being furloughed. As always happens, the restrictions are difficult to manage since the government (even if it is attempting to do what is best for the people) has a severe knowledge problem. It can’t possibly have as much information as the millions of citizens have.
Around the country, first in the South, where nonunion shops in Republican-governed states, businesses were allowed to start production on Monday. In the heavily unionized state of Michigan, the Democratic governor is keeping the factories closed a little longer. It does seem to make sense to be more cautious in areas like Michigan that have experienced a larger outbreak of cases. Tesla’s gigafactory in China was safely restarted in February with the full support of local and national officials.
Silicon Valley is now synonymous with software (which I’m very familiar with as a software engineer), but it originally got its name from the “large number of innovators and manufacturers in the region specializing in silicon-based … chips.” Emphasis on manufacturing is mine. I’m sure the greater San Francisco Bay Area has plenty of software companies to keep it very successful, but it does appear to have turned its back on the hardware innovators and manufacturers that have made the region such a famous area.
Tesla has wanted to safely reopen the Fremont plant, taking what it has learned from operating in China with 7,000 employees and not a single death (according to Elon’s recent appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience).
Tesla Has Had Enough
As Elon said in this great clip from his recent 2 hour interview with Joe Rogan, “for the fools out there, if you don’t make stuff, there is no stuff.”
I encouraged Alameda County to work with Tesla on a solution that would meet everyone’s needs earlier this week, but, unfortunately, it doesn’t look like they could come to an agreement.
@AlamedaCounty please negotiate with @tesla to ensure they can safely restart production. Every Tesla vehicle saves lives of its owners, passengers, pedestrians and others in the community it doesn’t pollute. There is a high cost of lives in keeping the factory closed.
— Paul Fosse (Retread 🔥🔥🔥) (@atj721) May 5, 2020
Tesla has decided to file suit and move its headquarters to Texas and Nevada.
Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependen on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2020
Frankly, I predicted this move earlier in the week. Alameda needs Tesla more than Tesla needs Alameda, and the sooner the county realizes it, the better it will be for them.
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