Tesla could bring Greater Houston area thousands of jobs if Musk relocates automaking factory

The Greater Houston area could soon be home to the headquarters and factory of Tesla as local government officials, including Fort Bend County Judge K.P. George, welcome the automaker to relocate to their respective cities and counties.

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has spoken out on Twitter about his discontentment with an order in the six-county San Francisco Bay area that forced Tesla to close the plant starting March 23 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Musk threatened to immediately relocate Tesla’s factory and headquarters out of Fremont, California, and to Nevada and Texas when the order was extended until the end of May.

“Frankly, this is the final straw,” Musk said in a May 9 tweet. “Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately.”

George reached out to Musk on Twitter to highlight the county’s diversity, high graduation rates and wide-open spaces strategically located for domestic and international distribution.

“I understand you have become frustrated with the climate in your current location as we all fight this collective invisible enemy,” George said in the letter he published on Twitter. “However, I think your company would greatly benefit from learning about Fort Bend County as your search for a suitable location continues."

The Alameda County Health Department released a statement authorizing Musk to reopen Tesla’s Fremont factory under a few safety guidelines and resume operations by May 18, but it does not guarantee the automaking company will stay.

“If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependent on how Tesla is treated in the future,” Musk said in a May 9 tweet. “Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.”

Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed he has talked to Musk about moving Tesla to Texas in a May 13 tweet responding to a news article.

“It’s true,” Abbott said. “Texas is a perfect fit for Tesla."

By Nola Valente
A native Texan, Nola serves as reporter for the Katy edition of Community Impact Newspaper. She studied print journalism at the University of Houston and French at the University of Paris-Sorbonne in France. Nola was previously a foreign correspondent in Jerusalem, Israel covering Middle East news through an internship with an American news outlet.