Tesla Model Y Deliveries Continue Despite Coronavirus [Updated]

By

Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

, Automotive Editor - March 20, 2020

Automakers may be closing factories and telling workers to stay home, but Tesla is pushing full steam ahead with its latest electric vehicle, the Model Y. Despite the “shelter in place” lockdown that’s in effect in six Bay Area counties, Tesla’s electric vehicle assembly plant in Fremont will stay open, reports the Los Angeles Times. Clearly, the electric automaker is looking to stay open despite the ongoing spread of the coronavirus.

A county spokesman from Alameda County told the outlet that Tesla has been declared an “essential business,” which allows it to remain. The LA Times asked the question we’re all thinking of, what exactly is so “essential” about manufacturing cars during a viral outbreak?

While Tesla CEO Elon Musk wants to keep the factory’s doors open, he has told employees that they don’t have to feel obliged to come to work. “First, I'd like to be super clear that if you feel the slightest bit ill or even uncomfortable, please do not feel obligated to come to work,” wrote Musk to his staff in an email that Bloomberg News uncovered. “I will personally be at work, but that’s just me. Totally ok if you want to stay home for any reason.”

The coronavirus has spread rapidly in the San Francisco Bay Area, prompting numerous counties in the area to introduce measures to keep people inside their homes as much as possible, reports Automotive News. As far as Alameda County is concerned, there have been 18 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the county. Tesla’s factory in the area is one of the largest employers with approximately 10,000 workers. The county may be worried about the spread of the coronavirus, but Musk isn’t all that concerned.

Tesla Model Y

“My frank opinion remains that the harm from the coronavirus panic far exceeds that of the virus itself,” Musk also wrote in the email. The CEO also stated that the number of coronavirus cases “will not exceed 0.1% of the population.” Musk has also taken his opinion on the coronavirus public, tweeting that “the coronavirus panic is dumb” earlier this month.

Coinciding with the decision to keep its factory open, Tesla recently sent out a tweet saying that “Model Y deliveries begin!” Originally, the electric automaker was reportedly on track to begin delivering the latest electric crossover by this Fall, so this is quite the jump. Auto News claims that the first few deliveries of any new vehicle are sent to employees.

At the moment, zero automakers have closed their factories in the U.S., but multiple ones have closed global facilities. Volkswagen shut down production plants across Europe; Ford closed its plant in Valencia, Spain for a week; Toyota has plans to close its plant in Portugal, France, and the Philippines this month; Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will close four of its plants in Italy; Ferrari shut down its factories in Italy this month, and Lamborghini will halt production at its plant in Italy.

We don’t want to point a finger at Musk and say he’s doing the wrong thing, because other automakers haven’t set a really good precedent in America, either. But The Washington Post claims that the death toll from the coronavirus has reached 100 people in the U.S. alone. Regardless of whether Musk is right and only 0.1% of the population will be affected, people are still dying because of the virus. To undermine people’s legitimate fear over an outbreak that is killing people globally shows that he’s not taking the situation seriously.

Update: Tesla has released an official announcement that they will be suspending production at both its Fremont and New York plants on Monday, March 23. In many areas, Tesla will implement "touchless deliveries" to continue providing vehicles to customers.

Learn more about the 2020 Tesla Model Y »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

Privacy Policy|Do Not Sell My Personal Information|Terms of Use|Cookie Policy|Disclaimer
COPYRIGHT 1999-2020 MH Sub I, LLC dba CarsDirect.com