California Governor Gavin Newsom told CNBC on Tuesday that he was “not worried” that Tesla CEO Elon Musk would move the business out of the state.
“Nor am I worried about Elon leaving anytime soon,” Newsom said in an interview on “Fast Money”.
“I have had many conversations with him, and we are committed to success and innovation and the low-carbon green growth economy that he has promoted for decades and the state of California is accelerating.”
Musk said earlier this month on Twitter that it is ready to move Tesla’s headquarters and future operations out of California in a dispute with public health officials in Alameda County. , where the electric vehicle manufacturer manufactures most of its cars for the United States and Europe.
Tesla also sued the county for trade restrictions related to coronaviruses, which have limited Tesla’s production since March. At Musk’s request, Tesla reopened for production, has made new cars at its Fremont plant since Mother’s Day weekend, and operated in defiance of local health orders for days.
As CNBC previously reported, Tesla’s internal communications showed that production changes had completely resumed, minus some temporary workers and some administrative and other workers who could still work remotely, rather than coming to the factory from Fremont.
Newsom, a Democrat, said he had known Musk for decades and “had great respect and admiration for his innovative spirit.” He argued that California was a key partner of Tesla as it became the world major player in electric vehicles.
“I think it is in everyone’s best interest to continue to find common ground and that is what we are doing in the state of California with Tesla,” said Newsom. “And they were housed, and they started to reopen because manufacturing and logistics and warehousing across the state have been running and reopened in recent weeks.”
Newsom comments come as Tesla, based in Palo Alto, is looking for a location for its new final assembly plant. CNBC reported last week that the company was focusing on Texas or Oklahoma. Musk said the next factory would be the company’s “Cybertruck” gigafactory.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Newsom’s remarks.
Morgan Stanley auto analyst Adam Jonas told CNBC last week that he thought the share of Tesla vehicles produced in California would decline in the years to come. He said it is economically “difficult” to produce vehicles in the state.
“There is no doubt in our mind that over time the proportion of Fremont in world production will decrease and we believe that the next plant will clearly be in Texas,” said Jonas, one of the first bullish analysts at Wall Street on Tesla.
Newsom said it believes doing business in California is good for businesses, including Tesla. “We may not be the cheapest place to do business, but we are the best place to do business,” he said.
Tesla stocks closed Tuesday’s session down slightly to $ 808 each. The stock has increased 93% so far this year.
– Lora Kolodny of CNBC contributed to this report.