Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla, announced last night (Thursday) that the electric car maker plans to move its headquarters from Palo Alto, California in Silicon Valley to Austin, Texas, where it is building a huge car and battery manufacturing complex.
Tesla joins Oracle, HP and Toyota in moving their U.S. headquarters to Texas from California, where taxes are relatively high and living costs accordingly. While Silicon Valley is also a hive for developing new ideas and companies, Texas is known for cheaper labor and less stringent regulation.
“I am excited to announce that we are moving our headquarters to Austin, Texas,” Musk said at the company’s annual meeting, held at the Texas car plant. “It’s not a matter of mother or maybe, Tesla is leaving California,” he said, explaining that it plans to increase output from its main plant in California and a Nevada plant by 50 percent. The Fremont California plant is “stuck” and it’s hard for people to afford homes in California, he said.
The richest billionaire in the world, Musk himself, moved in December to the lone star state of California to focus on the state’s new electric vehicle maker and his rocket company SpaceX, which has a launch site on the southern tip of Texas. Musk maintained a shaky relationship with California, threatening to move Tesla headquarters and future plans to Texas during a series of Tesla plant closures in Fremont, California because of the Corona.
At the meeting he presented a design of what looks like a cowboy-style belt buckle adorned with “Do not mess with T”, while the T is in the style of the Tesla logo. The phrase is based on a respectable and popular campaign for Texas – do not mess with Texas.
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