Tesla to Transfer Headquarters From California to Texas, Elon Musk Says

Tesla Inc. TSLA 1.39% is transferring its headquarters to Austin, Texas, cementing Chief Government Elon Musk’s dedication to the Lone Star State and including to a handful of Silicon Valley firms which have relocated there.

Mr. Musk introduced the transfer from Tesla’s Austin-area manufacturing facility, which the corporate started constructing final yr and the place it held its annual shareholder assembly Thursday. He added that Tesla plans to broaden its actions in California however that the corporate’s capacity to scale up within the San Francisco Bay Space is restricted.

“You go to our Fremont manufacturing facility, it’s jammed,” he mentioned. “We’re like Spam in a can.”

Mr. Musk mentioned final yr that he had moved to Texas, the place his rocket firm, House Exploration Applied sciences Corp., or SpaceX, has main operations. He beforehand likened California to a sports activities workforce that had grown complacent after a profitable streak. Tesla is following within the footsteps of firms together with Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. —a descendant of what Invoice Hewlett and Dave Packard began in a Palo Alto, Calif., storage—and Oracle Corp. , which moved their company headquarters to Texas earlier within the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tech firms have been among the many earliest to ship staff dwelling in the beginning of the pandemic, and various distinguished gamers within the trade have allowed their staff to work remotely on a everlasting foundation. That shift has prompted many Silicon Valley staff and startup CEOs to relocate to different components of the nation for cheaper housing, much less visitors and a greater high quality of dwelling.

Tesla plans to take care of a major presence and enhance output in Fremont, Calif.

Photograph: Dylan Stewart/Picture of Sports activities/Newscom/Zuma Press

Mr. Musk nodded to a few of these challenges, saying of the Bay Space, “It’s robust for individuals to afford homes, and lots of people have to return in from distant.”

Texas, notably its capital of Austin, has attracted extra know-how firms and startup improvement lately, providing decrease taxes and fewer regulation than California and extra inexpensive actual property.

Lawmakers in Texas have been loudly encouraging incoming migration from the coasts and offering monetary incentives. Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, mentioned in a tv interview final month that he had spoken to Mr. Musk and that the Tesla chief government was attracted by the state’s right-leaning social insurance policies. Mr. Musk responded by saying he most well-liked to remain out of politics.

Gov. Abbott welcomed Tesla in a tweet Thursday.

Austin isn’t with out issues, for Mr. Musk and others. In February, swaths of the state—together with Austin—misplaced energy in a fluke storm, one thing Mr. Musk skilled firsthand. “I used to be truly in Austin for that snowstorm in a home with no lights, no energy, no heating, no web—couldn’t even get to a meals retailer,” he mentioned.

One other drawback: State legislation bars automobile firms from promoting automobiles on to customers, as is Tesla’s enterprise mannequin.

Regardless of taking their headquarters out of California, firms like HPE have saved a strategic hub within the Bay Space, which stays the nation’s most vital tech middle. Mr. Musk mentioned Thursday that Tesla would preserve a major presence in California and enhance output from its Fremont, Calif., manufacturing facility.

Representatives for California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Whereas Tesla overcame snarled international provide chains to ship a file variety of automobiles within the third quarter, Mr. Musk indicated that components shortages have restricted the corporate’s capacity to ship on new, long-promised fashions.

“This yr has been only a fixed wrestle with components provide,” he mentioned.

Throughout WSJ’s CEO Council, Tesla chief Elon Musk criticized California as taking innovators with no consideration. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

Tesla is more likely to start producing its Cybertruck pickup late subsequent yr, with higher-volume output coming in 2023, Mr. Musk mentioned. In January, he had been optimistic that the corporate would be capable of start delivering just a few of the pickup vehicles to clients by the top of 2021.

He mentioned he hoped the corporate could be producing its long-delayed semitrailer truck and a revamped model of its Roadster sports activities automobile in 2023.

“We needs to be by our extreme provide chain shortages in ’23,” he mentioned.

Additionally on Thursday, a preliminary vote tally indicated that the Tesla administrators James Murdoch and Mr. Musk’s brother, Kimbal Musk, could be re-elected to the corporate’s board, mentioned the investor-relations chief, Martin Viecha.

The proxy advisory agency Institutional Shareholder Companies had urged buyers to vote towards their re-election over considerations together with excessive government and director compensation. The administrators have served on the board since 2017 and 2004, respectively. The Murdoch household is a significant shareholder in Information Corp, the mum or dad firm of The Wall Road Journal.

Early tallies recommended that shareholders had signed off on a nonbinding proposal to chop board members’ phrases to at least one yr, from three, and a name to publish further info on Tesla’s range and inclusion efforts.

The corporate mentioned in a report late final yr that individuals from underrepresented communities made up 60% of its U.S. workforce, whereas girls made up 21%.

Write to Rebecca Elliott at rebecca.elliott@wsj.com and Rob Copeland at rob.copeland@wsj.com

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