Tesla is making a return to California.
CEO Elon Musk announced Wednesday in a joint press conference with Governor Gavin Newsom that the company Tesla would establish a global engineering headquarters in California, two years after leaving Austin, Texas.
According to Musk, Tesla will set up shop in Palo Alto’s former Hewlett Packard headquarters. While the corporate headquarters remain in Austin, the facility will serve as the company’s engineering headquarters.
The move puts Musk closer to the headquarters of Twitter, which the billionaire tech entrepreneur purchased last year in a massive social media shakeup, and returns Tesla to the world’s center of technology and innovation.
Musk described relocating HP’s old headquarters as a “poetic transition from the company that founded Silicon Valley to Tesla.”
Newsom applauded Tesla’s decision to return to California, saying that the state is still at the forefront of “discovery, new ideas, and innovation.”
The governor, who has known Musk for decades, expressed pride in having Tesla in California.
“Tesla is a California company,” said Newsom. “It all started here.“
California, according to Newsom, has been committed to supporting Tesla and other electric vehicle brands for years, as evidenced by legislative policy and regulations.
However, for Newsom, who Musk claims were one of the first people to buy a Tesla Roadster in 2007, resurrecting the electric sports car company was critical to maintaining California’s position as the nation’s automobile leader.
California is already the largest automaker in the United States, and Musk claims Tesla’s Fremont plant is the busiest in North America, with plans to produce more than 600,000 vehicles this year.
Newsom has been a vocal supporter of electric vehicles and the transformation of America’s energy production, and he hopes that the partnership between Musk and California will be able to “dominate in this space and customize the way we yield and absorb energy in this state, this nation, and the world we are trying to build.”
Musk expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration and expressed hope that it would take place.
Tesla will relocate its headquarters from California to Austin in late 2021. Elon Musk was in an ongoing battle with Alameda County public health officials at the time of the move over his desire to reopen the Fremont manufacturing plant in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Daniel Ives, an analyst at multibillion-dollar investment firm Wedbush, said at the time that he believed Tesla’s move would be hugely beneficial for the company due to tax breaks offered by Texas and lower labour costs.
Musk relocated his home from California to Texas, where there is no state personal income tax.
Musk did not elaborate on the reasons for relocating Tesla’s headquarters to Silicon Valley. It’s unclear whether the state offered any incentives for the company to return, or whether Musk simply wanted to be closer to Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco.
Despite the spat with public health officials more than two years ago, Newsom praised Musk and Tesla, saying Musk and Tesla are a major reason for California’s success in the electric vehicle industry.
When discussing their own finances over the past few years, the two also laughed.
Musk stated that Newsom most likely put down $100,000 on his first Tesla in 2007. Newsom countered that the purchase was made when he “had money,” and he and Musk had comparable net worths at the time.