Tesla officially moves its headquarters to Texas

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Elon Musk’s electric car company Tesla has officially moved its headquarters from Palo Alto, California, to Austin, Texas, according to a Wednesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“On December 1, 2021, Tesla, Inc. relocated its corporate headquarters to Gigafactory Texas at 13101 Harold Green Road, Austin, Texas 78725,” the filing says.

Musk first announced the plans to move the company to Texas in October, adding the caveat that Tesla will continue “to expand our activities in California, so this is not a matter of, sort of, Tesla leaving California.”

The company is still looking to increase output at its Fremont, California plant and a Nevada plant by 50 percent, the quirky billionaire said at the time.

But expansion opportunities are limited in the Golden State and the cost of living is an obstacle, he added.

“It’s tough for people to afford houses and a lot of people have to come in from far away,” Musk said. “We’re taking it as far as possible but there’s a limit to how big you can scale it in the Bay Area.”

A view of the construction site of the Tesla Gigafactory in Austin, Texas, on October 25, 2021.
A view of the construction site of the Tesla Gigafactory in Austin, Texas, on October 25, 2021.
REUTERS/Mike Blake

Musk, by far the wealthiest man in the world with a net worth of more than $310 billion, is also expected to save big thanks to his move to the Lone Star State, which doesn’t tax personal income.

California imposes some of the highest personal income taxes in the country.

The Austin Gigafactory is about five minutes from the nearest airport and 15 minutes from the city’s downtown.

Elon Musk first announced the plans to move the company to Texas in October after a spat with California health officials over COVID-19 restrictions.
Elon Musk first announced the plans to move the company to Texas in October after a spat with California health officials over COVID-19 restrictions.
Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Musk, also the leader of SpaceX, moved from California to Texas himself last year that was the start of a very public breakup with Silicon Valley.

The HQ move comes a little over a year after he first threatened to move Tesla to Texas or Nevada amid a fight with state health officials over COVID-19 restrictions.

The company was told it couldn’t reopen its factory last year when the coronavirus shutdown measures were still in effect.

The Austin Gigafactory is about five minutes from the nearest airport and 15 minutes from the city’s downtown.
The Austin Gigafactory is about five minutes from the nearest airport and 15 minutes from the city’s downtown.
REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Musk took to a corporate earnings call at one point to deliver a profanity-laden rant in which he called government restrictions amid the pandemic “fascist.”

“Frankly this is the final straw,” Musk later said on Twitter. “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 dependent on how Tesla is treated in the future.”

He then defied lockdown orders and ordered restarting production in California until officials agreed to reopen the company’s facilities with safety measures in place.

According to Elon Musk, Tesla will still have a plant in California, but the main HQ and production will now be in Texas.
According to Elon Musk, Tesla will still have a plant in California, but the main HQ and production will now be in Texas.
Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Despite the signs of Musk’s fraying relationship with California, both Tesla employees and state officials were floored by the October announcement of the HQ move and reportedly continue to question what it really means.

“Elon didn’t even tell his team,” Dee Dee Myers, California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s economy czar, said in late October when asked if the state had been informed in advance of Musk’s plans.

“We later talked to the leadership in his offices in California, who did not know until he made that announcement,” she said on a conference call with press.

Texas officials have been using tax breaks to lure companies like Tesla into the state.
Texas officials have been using tax breaks to lure companies like Tesla into the state.
TNS via ZUMA Wire

“I don’t think anybody knows exactly what it means that he’s moving his headquarters,” she added.

Tesla is just the latest tech company to flee California for Texas, following Oracle and Hewlett Packard.

Texas officials have been courting companies to make the move, dangling big-time tax breaks to put new facilities in the state through the Texas Economic Development Act.

According to California officials, Elon Musk told no one that he was planning on moving headquarters to Austin shocking several employees.
According to California officials, Elon Musk told no one that he was planning on moving headquarters to Austin shocking several employees.
REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

Austin, with its relatively low cost of living and home to a strong university as well as popular events like South by Southwest, has been a hot spot for tech companies and their workers.

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