Fast forward to 2023, and we see Tesla taking over the former Hewlett-Packard offices in Palo Alto and establishing its worldwide engineering and AI headquarters there. This is a notable change of strategy for Tesla, which moved its headquarters from California to Texas in 2021. Musk said at the time that the move was decided because of the high housing costs in the Golden State, which limits expansion and makes labor more expensive.
At the time, Musk was also quarreling with Alameda County’s health officials over his desire to reopen the Fremont factory during the coronavirus pandemic. Then Texas had more favorable tax conditions and cheaper labor, so it’s difficult to assess which of these was more important. Musk didn’t say what prompted the decision to return to the state and set up Tesla’s engineering headquarters in Palo Alto. Some say it’s because Twitter offices are also nearby.
Tesla leased part of the former HP offices in 2021, and we’ve seen many Tesla prototypes in and around the area recently, so it’s safe to assume Tesla is already using the space. According to Musk, Tesla has no intention of abandoning its corporate headquarters in Austin and is now “kind of a dual-headquartered company.”
Tesla intends to focus on hiring engineers proficient in R&D for artificial intelligence, a technology crucial in developing robotics and autonomous vehicles. The moment is ripe because other technology companies have laid off talent in the past months. At the same time, Tesla has increased its employee headcount in California every year, and it now has 47,000 people working for it in the state. This is mostly thanks to Fremont, the biggest automotive factory in North America.
The opening ceremony ended with a tour of Tesla’s new global engineering and AI headquarters, followed by a huge party. The invitations had an interesting detail, considering the date was written as “v2023.2.22,” suggesting it has some connection with an upcoming OTA software update. Tesla is currently rolling out v2023.2.12, and Tesla fans expect the 2023.2.22 version to encapsulate the FSD Beta V11.3.2 software.
In 2022, we grew to 47k direct employees & $5B of capital investment in California.— Tesla (@Tesla) February 23, 2023
Today, we’re continuing our investment in California with our new Engineering HQ in Palo Alto ?? pic.twitter.com/FvQyRtgNrg