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Tesla delays return of Fremont factory workers amid shutdown extension

Tesla is delaying the return of its Fremont factory workers as it is going to extend its factory shutdown due to an extension of the shelter-in-place order in the Bay Area.

Last weekend, there were reports of Tesla calling some Fremont employees back to work ahead of reopening the plant.

Fremont, Tesla’s main factory, has been shut since March 23 due to a shelter-in-place order in the Bay Area, where the factory is located.

Tesla was planning on reopening the factory on May 4 when the shelter-in-place order was supposed to be lifted.

However, the six Bay Area counties have confirmed today that they are going to extend shelter-in-place orders through the end of May.

Bloomberg reported today that Tesla informed employees not to return to work:

A paint department supervisor told employees Sunday in an email seen by Bloomberg News that there’s no need to come in this week to Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California. The company had told some workers in the paint and stamping operations to return April 29.

Before agreeing to shut down its factory, Tesla has resisted calls to comply with the shelter-in-place order — arguing that making cars was an “essential business.”

At this point, it’s unclear when the automaker is going to be able to restart the factory.

As we previously reported, Tesla has planned to operate a small workforce to upgrade production lines at Fremont factory. Tesla applied for construction permits to increase Model Y production capacity and recommission its south paint shop.

Without Fremont factory in operation, Tesla is only producing vehicles out of its Gigafactory Shanghai in China.

Electrek’s Take

As we stated after reporting on Tesla aiming to reopen on May 4, the date was far from set in stone since the local government has been indicating for a while that the shelter-in-place orders were likely to be extended.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Tesla tries again to get around it.

If Tesla doesn’t produce any car at of Fremont for the first 2 months of the quarter, it’s going to affect its Q2 results drastically.

What do you think? Do you think it’s time to reopen Fremont factory or is it still too risky? Let us know in the comment section below.

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