Elon Musk: Tesla to Move Headquarters to Austin
Billionaire CEO Elon Musk announced the major move from Palo Alto, Calif. , during the company's annual shareholder meeting on Thursday evening in Austin .
"I'm excited to announce that we're moving our headquarters to Austin, Texas ," Musk said, showing a slide of a cowboy belt buckle emblazoned with the Tesla "T" logo and a reference to the famous Texas slogan "Don't mess with Texas ."
Musk pointed to California's high housing prices and tight real estate market as two major reasons for the move. Other Silicon Valley stalwarts, including Oracle and Hewlett Packard Enterprise , have also moved to Austin and Spring , respectively, over the past year.
"If you go to our Fremont ( California ) factory, it is jammed. It's like whoa," Musk said. "When we were first in there, we were like a kid in his parents' shoes. ... Now it's like how do we fit more stuff? And it's tough for people to afford houses and a lot of people have to come in from far away. We've taken it as far as possible, but there's a limit to how big we could scale in the Bay area ."
Analysts have long speculated Tesla might move to Texas . Last May, Musk threatened to relocate the company out of California over disagreements about local pandemic measures that restricted Tesla and other businesses from reopening.
"Frankly, this is the final straw. Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas / Nevada immediately," Musk said in a series of tweets in May 2020 announcing Tesla's lawsuit against Alameda County , which includes the company's Fremont factory, over public health restrictions. The lawsuit was later dropped, and despite overtures from local officials in Dallas County and elsewhere, the company stayed put.
Speculation mounted after Musk, himself, became a Texas resident this year. He is the state's richest resident and the world's second wealthiest person with an estimated net worth of $190.5 billion , according to Forbes.
Musk on Thursday said Tesla still plans to continue its West Coast operations, increasing production of its electric vehicles and batteries at its Fremont, Calif. and Reno, Nev. factories to meet its 50 percent annual sales growth target. The automaker delivered nearly 250,000 electric vehicles during the third quarter.
Musk has steadily expanded his empire into Texas in recent years. SpaceX , another Musk venture, operates a commercial rocket launchpad called Starbase in Boca Chica of South Texas .
Tesla is under construction on its fifth and largest factory called Giga Texas in Austin , which will manufacture Cybertrucks and other EVs. The factory is expected to hire 5,000 workers paying an average salary of $47,000 , and will feature a public park that Musk has called an "ecological paradise" along the Colorado River .
"It's not a matter of Tesla leaving California ," Musk added. "We'll continue to expand in California significantly, but even more so here in Texas ."
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