Elon Musk is moving Tesla’s headquarters from Silicon Valley to Texas after criticising lockdown measures by local leaders as “fascist”. The Telegraph has more.
The electric car company will move from Palo Alto to the Texas capital, Austin, Mr. Musk told a meeting of Tesla shareholders, making it the biggest company to quit Silicon Valley for the Lone Star state yet. Tesla is also building a giant “gigafactory” in Austin.
Mr. Musk told investors: “I’m excited to announce that we’re moving our headquarters to Austin, Texas… Just to be clear, though, we will continue to expand our activities in California.”
The Tesla billionaire has been an outspoken critic of some of California’s coronavirus policies, at one stage calling them “fascist”, after they forced the car company to close its plant in Fremont due to lockdowns.
In May last year, Mr. Musk sued state officials, claimed Tesla would move its headquarters and threatened to shut down manufacturing in California. Mr. Musk moved his home to Texas last December.
But Texas has also looked to lure companies with lucrative tax breaks. This year, Texas will offer tax breaks totalling $44.5 billion (£33 billion), including $14 billion in property tax breaks and billions of dollars in breaks for car sales. The state has no income tax. It also has some of the lowest energy prices in the US and loose business regulations.
California has also proved prohibitively expensive for living costs, with soaring property prices.
Tesla is not the first technology company to abandon Silicon Valley. Palantir, a big data company founded by Republican supporter Peter Thiel, left California for Denver, Colorado. Others including HP and Oracle, which was founded by Republican Party donor Larry Ellison, have both also relocated.
Read More: Richest Man in World Leaves California, Describing Lockdown Restrictions as “Fascist”