Elon Musk chooses California for Tesla’s global engineering headquarters

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said it was establishing its global engineering headquarters in Palo Alto,

California, a state that CEO Elon Musk has sometimes criticized.

Mr. Musk moved Tesla’s headquarters to Texas from Silicon Valley in 2021, saying at the time that the company’s ability to expand in the San Francisco Bay Area was limited. He previously likened California to a sports team resting on their laurels after a winning streak, saying, “They tend to be a little complacent, a little authoritative, and then they don’t win the championship anymore.”

Mr. Musk struck a happier tone on Wednesday night, telling an event in Palo Alto that the company would “build the future here.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom and Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the location of the company’s new global engineering headquarters on Wednesday. The facility will be in the former building of computer manufacturer Hewlett Packard in Palo Alto. Photo: Tesla

Tesla has maintained a presence in Silicon Valley even after moving its headquarters to Texas and employs about 48,000 people in California, Musk said. This represents more than a third of the company’s global workforce at the end of the year.

Many of these employees work in the San Francisco Bay Area in Fremont, California, which is home to the company’s first automobile plant. This facility has the capacity to manufacture about 650,000 vehicles per year, Tesla said.

The company has since opened vehicle manufacturing sites in China, Texas and Germany.

On Wednesday, Musk said Tesla would continue to invest in California even as it expands elsewhere.

Tesla has had layoffs in California over the past year. Last year, Tesla laid off more than 200 people when it closed an office in San Mateo, California. The site housed employees who worked on Tesla’s advanced driver assistance system, known as Autopilot.

The automaker, led by Mr Musk, is in expansion mode to hit its target of selling 20 million vehicles a year by the end of the decade. In January, Tesla revealed it was considering more than $775 million in expansions to its Austin-area plant.

Tesla cars at the Fremont, California factory in 2022.


Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Other companies led by Mr. Musk also have large presences in California. Twitter Inc. is based in San Francisco and rocket company SpaceX is based in Hawthorne.

Write to Joseph De Avila at joseph.deavila@wsj.com and Rebecca Elliott at rebecca.elliott@wsj.com

Corrections & Amplifications
Elon Musk said the decision to establish Tesla’s global engineering headquarters in California was a “poetic transition from the company that founded Silicon Valley to Tesla.” An earlier version of this article misquoted it as saying “poetic translation”. (Corrected February 22)

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Appeared in the February 23, 2023 print edition as “Tesla Sets Palo Alto Engineering Hub”.

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