Motors acquires California factory
Tesla Motors has purchased the former NUMMI
factory in Fremont, California, where it will build the Model
S sedan and future Tesla vehicles. As recently as April of 2010,
the NUMMI factory was used by Toyota to produce the Corolla and
Tacoma vehicles using the Toyota production system. It is one
of the largest, most advanced and cleanest automotive production
plants in the world.
It is capable of producing half a million vehicles per year or
approximately one percent of total worldwide car production.
The award-winning plant was the first in North America to demonstrate
Toyota Production System, a widely copied system that lead to
dramatic quality improvements and unprecedented manufacturing
flexibility and worker satisfaction.
The Model S is expected to be the first pure electric premium
sedan and is designed from the ground up to take full advantage
of the electric vehicle architecture. The sedan, which Tesla
unveiled in March 2009, has an anticipated base price of $49,900,
including a federal tax credit, and is intended to deliver the
foremost design and technology in the automotive world. With
an optional extended-range battery pack, the Model S will travel
over 300 miles per charge.
The factory is located in the city of Fremont near Northern California’s
Silicon Valley, very near Tesla’s Palo Alto headquarters. The
location means Tesla can hire best-in-class engineers in Silicon
Valley. The short distance also ensures a tight feedback loop
between engineering, manufacturing and other divisions within
“The Tesla Factory effectively leverages an ideal combination
of hardcore Silicon Valley engineering talent, traditional automotive
engineering talent and the proven Toyota production system,”
said Tesla CEO Elon Musk. “The new Tesla Factory will give us
plenty of room to grow.”
Toyota produced its last car there just several months ago. Tesla
began discussions to acquire the site this spring, when it was
also evaluating opportunities in Downey and Long Beach. The turnkey
nature of the facility with its recent production of top quality
vehicles and its considerable room for expansion made it stand
out from other sites.