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The Telsa-Toyota Tsunami

May 22, 2010

EV Market Moves to A Higher Ground

The really big news this week in electric vehicles is the joint venture between the world’s leading car manufacturing company and the world’s leading electric vehicle technology company. The EV industry shifts into high gear with this announcement and the car business is about to enter a new phase. Not to mention that the long burning animosity between Northern and Southern California has just increased by a couple of clicks.

Governor Arnold Scharzenegger leaked earlier that Tesla Motors will be partnering with Toyota to build a new electric vehicle. Now, chief executive Elon Musk confirms that this is true — but that Tesla will also be acquiring the recently-closed NUMMI automotive manufacturing plant in Fremont, Calif., potentially bringing back thousands of jobs lost when that facility closed last month. Read the 5/20, GreenBeat article…

Confirmed: Tesla to build electric vehicles with Toyota at NUMMI plant

In a stunning and to some, like the folks in Downey, California, a shocking decision, Tesla and Toyota in a last minute agreement have partnered to build new generations of electric cars in the recently shuttered New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. factory, known as Nummi, in Fremont.

Tesla Model S sedan to be made at NUMMI

The AP reported…

Toyota to invest $50M, will partner with Tesla to build electric car at shuttered Calif. plant

By DAISY NGUYEN, Associated Press

Last update: May 21, 2010 – 12:08 AM

LOS ANGELES – The heads of Tesla Motors Inc. and Toyota Motors Corp. surprised the auto world Thursday by announcing a partnership to develop and build electric cars at a recently shuttered auto plant in the San Francisco Bay area.

Akio Toyoda, CEO of the world’s largest automaker, said Toyota will invest $50 million in Tesla when the company begins selling stock to the public, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk said his company will purchase the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. factory, known as Nummi, in Fremont where the Model S electric sedan will be built.

“We’re going to create electric cars together,” Musk told a news conference at Tesla’s office in Palo Alto. “It’s a great honor to work with a company like Toyota, one of the automobile leaders of the world and one I’ve personally long admired.”

Downey Mayor Pro Tem Luis Marquez when told of the news commented, “It is shocking the amount of time and effort that has been needlessly wasted by Downey due to Tesla misleading the City; their actions are unconscionable.”

Musk said there was no effort to mislead Downey officials, adding that parts of the deal with Toyota were only resolved Wednesday.

“We weren’t sure could a deal be put together, could Tesla afford Nummi,” Musk said. “These were question marks that that were only resolved yesterday.”

The fate of the NUMMI plant had been unclear. At its closure, plant executives said some employees would stay on while they try to sell off equipment and clean up. Executives also said the plant would try to find a buyer and work with city and state officials to identify the best new use for the site.

Musk would not disclose what Tesla paid for the factory. It bought only a parcel of the sprawling Nummi plant.

He said there is a lot of potential for long-term growth and that he sees the partnership eventually generating about 10,000 jobs between suppliers and factory workers.

He said Tesla already has started hiring former Nummi employees and plans to add workers at a rate of about 50 a month. Nummi was a union shop, and Musk said Tesla was “neutral” on any possible guild organization – it would neither encourage or fight such an effort.

August 27, 2009 — Elon Musk told reporters that Tesla Motors would love to take over the NUMMI facility. Elon dreams big and makes it happen.

More later on this industry shaking announcement…

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