WGRZ Buffalo reported Tesla is "quietly" moving "a large number of crates and loaded pallets" out of its taxpayer-funded factory in Buffalo, New York.
This comes one day after we reported Tesla ended its partnership with Panasonic to produce solar panels at the factory, also known as Gigafatory 2.
Panasonic is expected to stop production in May and be completely moved out of the factory by September.
As we noted, Tesla continues "continues to
lie tell NY state officials that it's going to continue to produce its solar roof in Buffalo and that the company is exceeding its required job counts by the state, which was a condition of the deal for the company to receive an insane $959 million in taxpayer money to build its factory."
WGRZ said the crates and loaded pallets are being hauled to a warehouse in Wheatfield Business Park, once the home to Bell Aerospace.
Why are there crates of unused @telsa manufacturing equipment sitting in a Wheatfield warehouse? @WGRZ_SteveBrown tries to get answers but neither Tesla or @EmpireStateDev will respond. https://t.co/R2XRW9qbgW— WGRZ (@WGRZ) February 27, 2020
Tesla's landlord at Gigafatory 2 is the state of New York, also known as Empire State Development (ESD). Tesla famously started operations at Buffalo in 2018 after getting a sweetheart deal to lease the facility from ESD for $1 per year and pledged to commit $5 billion in investments. Tesla faces a monster $41.2 million fine if it doesn't keep operations open or have a headcount above 1,500.
Reuters and Bloomberg both reported in 2018 that crates and pallets of machinery were sitting in the factory. WGRZ provided no further details of what exactly was shipped out.
Considering the events this week, it couldn't get any worse for Tesla – it remains to be seen if Gigafatory 2 will still be operating in the quarters ahead. Maybe ESD is about to evict Musk?...