Tesla is temporarily suspending production at its factories in California and New York on Monday due to coronavirus.
The announcement came as the electric car maker faced pressure to comply with orders from local health authorities to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tesla had argued it was exempt from a recent shelter-in-place order in Fremont, California.
Tesla says it will keep running some “basic operations” such as its charging infrastructure
“In the past few days, we have met with local, state and federal officials. We have followed and are continuing to follow all legal directions and safety guidelines with respect to the operations of our facilities, and have honored the federal government’s direction to continue operating,” Tesla said in a statement. “Despite taking all known health precautions, continued operations in certain locations has caused challenges for our employees, their families and our suppliers.”
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment from USA TODAY.
Elon Musk to make ventilators? Tesla to make ventilators for coronavirus patients ‘if there is a shortage’
Elon Musk thinks the coronavirus is dumb:A million Twitter users liked his tweet.
Cars will stop rolling off the line at the factory at the end of the day on Monday to allow for an “orderly shutdown,” Tesla said.
Other Tesla facilities will keep running including its Nevada Gigafactory.
In light of coronavirus fears, Tesla is also offering “touchless” deliveries of cars to customers, meaning they can unlock their new cars using the Tesla app and sign paperwork left inside and drop it off before they leave.
On Tuesday, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department said the Tesla factory in Fremont, California, was not “essential,” and like most other businesses must shut down under the shelter-in-place order and maintain only “minimum basic operations.”
Only essential businesses such as grocery stores and pharmacies are being allowed to stay open under the order.
J.D. Power on coronavirus:COVID-19 could drop vehicle sales by 3M, but industry can recover
Concerns about the spreading coronavirus have forced most of North America’s auto plants to close, at least temporarily.
Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Honda, and Toyota said they would close down factories and Nissan said it would close U.S. factories. Hyundai shut down its Alabama plant after a worker tested positive for the virus.