On Wednesday, the Tesla car plant in Fremont, California appeared to be operational according to a report, despite a Tuesday clarification from Alameda County that the plant is not an "essential business" and would be subject to a shelter-in-place order issued to help stop the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus. Under that order, businesses deemed inessential are only supposed to have enough staff to maintain the value of current inventory, process payroll and enable remote employees to work from home.
Reuters reported Wednesday that thousands of cars were visible on the factory's employee parking lot and that employees were still going to work there. Several 18-wheeler container trucks were also seen pulling onto the factory grounds, according to the report. Tesla and Alameda County did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Tesla shares were down 16% on Wednesday amid a broad market sell-off.
Tesla's only U.S. car plant, the Fremont factory makes the Model 3s that are sold to European and North American customers, and is the only plant where Tesla is making its new, crossover SUV the Model Y.
Tesla North America HR chief Valerie Workman previously told employees that the US federal government had ordered all National Critical Infrastructure businesses to stay open, and claimed that Tesla met that criterion.
Read that e-mail here: