• Jun 1, 2010
Tesla Model S – Click above for high-res image gallery

Tesla Motors announced last week that it was definitely going to build ist Model S at the former NUMMI factory in Fremont, California. Or it might not. This isn't the first announcement about where this car might be produced. That was way back in February 2007 when the car was still being referred to as Whitestar and it was planned to be built in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Along the way it was also going to be built in San Jose and most recently southern California.

The big surprise press conference held last week with CEO Elon Musk, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda caught everyone completely by surprise and apparently almost none of the i's have been dotted, nor have many t's been crossed. At the time, Musk announced that Tesla would be buying one of three parcels that make up the NUMMI facility, that being the one that includes the actual building facility. Regulatory documents filed by Tesla this week in advance of its upcoming initial public stock offering indicate that Tesla is to pay Toyota $42 million for the building out of its IPO proceeds. That price, however, does not include production equipment, which may go a long ways toward explaining why Tesla got such a "good deal" compared to the $130 million that Fisker paid for a closed General Motors plant in Delaware.

If Tesla wants any of the equipment left behind at the NUMMI facility, it will have to buy that separately at an upcoming auction. Of course, it won't actually need most of it for some time since the company only plans to build about 20,000 cars per year in a plant with a capacity 25 times that.

The product collaboration agreement between Toyota and Tesla is also just that so far, an agreement to collaborate with no additional details specified right now. And that $50 million that Toyota is to invest in Tesla? That will only happen if the IPO actually happens in 2010 and it will be at the offering price. So Toyota's investment may garner it either more or less stock than the nine percent that Daimler got last year for the same price.



[Source: Green Car Advisor]


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  • 14 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Tesla has to sell stocks to stay alive, so I think sooner or later they might be part of toyota.
      but that is imho a good thing.

      this will lead to good evs and hybrids.
      tesla has interchangable batteries to.
      model s is project better plant compatible, they say. so who knows what tech toyo is after.

      so take the best of both and sow us some good EVs i'd say. and new jobs at nummi is a good thing to.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Like John McElroy said on Autoline Daily the other day - building 20,000 cars a year in a five-million square-foot plant: are they crazy?
        Carlos
        • 4 Years Ago
        Maybe they have grandiose plans for Tesla and some how they're going to add a few more model lines, or maybe Elon Musk needs to lay down the crack pipe. Either way its going to be an interesting few years for Tesla.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Preston Tucker returns!

      Go to URL below:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBa4JjaE3Ho
      • 4 Years Ago
      Toyota still gets credit by helping Tesla increase their production capacity, which is what the company needs if they want to go mainstream.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The union hasn't been a problem at NUMMI for 30 years. No absenteeism. No strikes. None of that. It's not the same as locating in Michigan.

      I mean if you're anti-union just because you don't want to have any unions in your system nationwide (like Toyota) then I guess you should be concerned. But if you are going to have only one plant and you just are concerned about the operations at that plant (like NUMMI or Tesla), it really isn't an issue.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is also a relatively inexpensive way for Toyota to generate some needed positive PR without necessarily taking on a large long term commitment.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yep. This is Toyota getting some positive spin on NUMMI while Tesla will never build 2,000 cars there much less 20,000 per year. I hope the CA state government and the local municipalities don't spend a lot of taxpayer incentives on this boondoggle.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think it is wrong on part of Tesla to build in CA. The local community showed itself to be very much pro union and it is only a matter of time until an owner of new Tesla will find a can of Bud Light attached to some body part..................like UAW use to do in the good old days. Plus CA is not the friendliest state to businesses out there.

      I think a good choice would be to find a closed plant that is a few miles away from existing plant of another large car company, so you can uses same suppliers and same logistics.

      Building in CA is like building in Detroit and hoping that they will not unionize this time around. Now more than ever unions feel like they have the powers on their side.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Actually if you look at the deal it's pretty clear that Toyota has a lot of faith in Tesla-this deal is Toyota throwing their weight behind an upstart-they're buying the plant with money they'd get from their IPO-so it's not coming out of their current cash reserves. So Toyota taking this deal means that they think the IPO is going to happen and that shares of Tesla are going to be worth something. It's a big deal for a car company that's otherwise struggled to ship a single car on time (let alone with the same specs).
      • 4 Years Ago
      Tesla is vaporware. Also Elon Musk is the Malcom Bricklin/ John DeLorean of our time
      • 4 Years Ago
      Typical Silicon Valley deal. Lots of hot air.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I predict what will happen is that Tesla will crash and burn without being able to get to the point of actually building the Model S, and in the end Toyota will gain Tesla's electric drivetrain knowledge.

      Then all Tesla fanboys will become Toyota fanboys.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wonder how fast it's actually going in that picture.
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