In an e-mail sent overnight to employees, Musk said the electric vehicle maker would take California Gov. Gavin Newsom's declaration that manufacturing in the state was allowed to resume as a green light to restart production at the U.S. car plant.
“In light of Governor Newsom’s statement earlier today approving manufacturing in California, we will aim to restart production in Fremont tomorrow afternoon," Musk said in the email seen by Bloomberg.
'I will be on the line personally helping wherever I can. However, if you feel uncomfortable coming back to work at this time, please do not feel obligated to do so. These are difficult times, so thanks very much for working hard to make Tesla successful!”
In a separate e-mail to U.S. employees on Thursday night, Tesla Human Resources Head Valerie Capers Workman said the factory would resume “limited operations” Friday, bringing back around 30% of the employees that would normally be working on a given shift, according to Bloomberg.
While many of Tesla's Fremont workers remain on furlough, the employees called back to work and who agree to show up will be required to undergo training on new Covid-19 safety protocols, she said.
However, Alameda County, which is home to Tesla’s Fremont plant, said in a statement Thursday that the region’s current health orders remain in place and takes precedence.
“We will continue to work with our community and business leaders to accomplish careful, measured progress that allows us to maintain our gains as we move forward to further reopening and better times ahead,” Alameda said in a joint statement issued by San Francisco Bay area counties and cities.
Tesla reported first-quarter earnings last week, posting a surprising profit and saying its goal of selling 500,000 vehicles this year remains on track. It also surpassed a market-cap milestone that gives Musk a potential $700-million payout
Shares of Tesla were up 1.89% at $794.76 in trading on Friday.