Odds Favor Tesla Relocating to Texas After Struggle to Reopen in California Amid COVID-19 Restrictions

Elon Musk posing with a Tesla car
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been successful in reopening the company's facility in Fremont, California, in violation of statewide shelter-in-place orders, but a relocation to Texas could still be in the cards for the automaker. Photo by Maurizio Pesce (flickr).
  • Elon Musk has avoided arrest in his controversial move to reopen the Tesla factory in Fremont, California
  • Musk’s success has boosted the company’s stock price, but not diminished the odds of a possible relocation to Texas
  • Will Musk’s luck run out as the COVID-19 pandemic continues? Get all the odds in the story below

Officials in Alameda County have given into to the demands of Elon Musk to reopen Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California. But if the innovative carmaker does end up moving its operations, Texas remains a short favorite to be the company’s new home, sporting -200 odds.

Odds on the State of Tesla’s Relocation

State Odds
Texas -200
Nevada +150
Georgia +500

Odds taken 05/14/20 – must announce relocation from California before January 1, 2021.

Musk’s Brinkmanship Pays Off, For Now

Impatient with the slow, cautious approach taken by public officials in California, Musk has quickly moved forward with his plans to ramp up operations at company facilities in the state, leaving the 48-year-old billionaire potentially facing arrest and criminal charges for violating shelter-in-place orders.

Reports out of Texas suggest Governor Greg Abbott has already discussed the possibility of relocation with Musk, who has grown increasingly frustrated with how the company has been treated in the Golden State.

Nevada is reportedly also part of Musk’s plans for the company’s future. Tesla’s CEO has mentioned the state as a preferred destination for some of the company’s operations, adding fuel to its position as a +150 second-favorite to be the home to its headquarters.

Of further concern to politicians and workers in California has been the late emergence of Georgia as a potential destination, with a move to the Peachtree State pegged as a +500 bet.

Tesla Stock Price as of 4:00 PM ET on May 15

Price Odds
Under $800 -130
Over $800 -110

Long-Term Future in California Far from Certain

While Wednesday’s decision to allow Tesla to move forward with its reopening defuses the volatile situation for the moment, the company’s long-term future in California is far from certain. The state is not yet out of the woods after experiencing some of the widest outbreaks of COVID-19 during the current coronavirus pandemic.

If California can avoid suffering through a second wave of infection without implementing more severe shelter-in-place orders, the relocation of Tesla before the start of 2021 could be avoided. But if Musk follows through on his threat to move the last carmaker currently based in California, expect the Lone Star State to be the big winner.

Temporary Peace Good News for Musk, Investors

The temporary peace that has been established between Tesla and public officials in California has also been a boost to the company’s stock price. After tumbling as low as $768.66 in Thursday trading on the NASDAQ exchange, Tesla stock rebounded to finish the day at $803.33. That bodes well for investors, and for bettors taking the OVER on whether the stock will close out the week at over $800, which pays out on -110 odds.

Picks:

  • Tesla relocation state? Texas (-200)
  • Tesla closing stock price on May 15: OVER $800 (-110)

Tesla Yes/No Props

Prop ‘Yes’ Odds ‘No’ Odds
Will Elon Musk be arrested before June 1, 2020? +725 -1400
Will Elon Musk step down as Tesla CEO before January 1 2021? +800 -2500
Will Tesla workers unionize before January 1, 2021? +700 -2000

The deal to restart production at Tesla’s Fremont facility averts the media circus that would result if Musk were to be arrested for violating public health orders. Earlier in the week, Musk tweeted his desire for the state to spare Tesla workers, taking full responsibility for the decision and asking that he be the target of any police action.

But with the state now backing down, the odds of Musk being arrested before June 1 are a lengthy and unattractive +725. The victory over state officials has also likely cemented Musk’s perch as Tesla CEO. Musk resigned as Chairman of Tesla in 2018 after facing fraud charges related to claims he made about taking the company private.

Labor Movement Targeting Tesla?

Musk has also been the target of criticism from key figures in the labor movement for the decision to reopen the Tesla facility. That includes the California Labor Federation, with representatives of the organization suggesting the move puts workers at risk.

However, with Musk putting the decision to return to work back into the hands of Tesla workers, who are free to stay off the job if they do not feel comfortable in go back on the line, there is little value to be found in the +700 odds of company workers unionizing before January 1.

Picks:

  • Will Musk be arrested? No (-1400)
  • Will Musk step down as Tesla CEO? No (-2500)
  • Will tesla employees unionize? No (-2000)
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