Tesla wants to speed up its production technologies and cut per-vehicle manufacturing costs, so it is acquiring German company Grohmann Engineering in a deal announced Tuesday early morning. Grohmann is based in Prüm, in the western Eifel region near the Nürburgring, and its expertise is highly automated manufacturing. Tesla plans to close the acquisition in early 2017, creating Tesla Grohmann Automation; the agreement is subject to German regulatory approval. In turn, the German location will become the headquarters of Tesla Advanced Automation Germany.

In addition to its German development and production center, Grohmann Engineering already has locations in the United States, in Chandler, AZ, and Charlotte, NC, along with a China base in Shanghai. Tesla's acquisition of Grohmann is said to create over a thousand advanced engineering and technician jobs in Germany over the next two years.

As Elon Musk on a conference call, "This will really be our first acquisition of significance in our whole history,' TechCrunch reports. Manufacturing processes are often as fascinating as the end product, and to quote Tesla's blog post, at very high production volumes "the machine that builds the machine ... will become more of a product than the product itself." To be able to answer to the roughly 400,000 pre-orders of the upcoming Model 3, Tesla needs to put its production capabilities into high gear. Tesla says its yearly output target in 2018 will be 500,000 cars, and in the past four years, the production rate of the Fremont plant has increased by 400 percent.

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