Tesla took government payroll benefits to offset coronavirus crisis

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Tesla Inc got payroll-related benefits from the government in the first half of this year to help decrease the impact of the coronavirus crisis on its business, the electric automaker said in a filing on Tuesday.

The company, whose CEO Elon Musk has voiced against further government aid as Congress debates another round of stimulus, said that together with cost cuts, the benefits had offset nearly all of its costs due to the idling of factories in this year’s coronavirus led lockdowns.

Tesla’s only U.S. vehicle factory — in California, where the majority of its cars are produced — was closed for about six weeks in the second quarter ended June following an initial standoff with local authorities.

Tesla and its subsidiary SolarCity do not appear on a list of the U.S. Small Business Administration, which issued forgivable loans to millions of firms in an attempt to prevent widespread layoffs.

“As part of various governmental responses to the pandemic granted to companies globally, we received certain payroll-related benefits which helped to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our financial results,” the company noted in its regulatory filing.

Elon Musk wrote in a post on Twitter on Friday that another U.S. government stimulus package “is not in the interests of the people”.

American Republicans and Democrats are in the midst of debating a second massive coronavirus aid package to recover the economy and help millions of Americans who have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus crisis.

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