By on August 18, 2009

As much as Californians would like to see jobs at NUMMI saved by their homegrown automaker Tesla, the deal isn’t going to happen. For fairly obvious reasons. “We need about 500,000 square feet for our plant,” Tesla’s Rachel Konrad tells Automotive News [sub]. “NUMMI is 5 million.” Thanks to Your Shitty Economy, the EV automaker has plenty of plants to choose from. “The auto industry isn’t the only segment of the California economy that has been struggling,” says Konrad. “We have a lot of mothballed plants to choose from. There are some aerospace and chip factories around here that have closed.” Tesla has just announced that it will build powertrains for its Model S sedan at the Stanford Research Park in Palo Alto, CA. Model S production is likely to take place somewhere in Southern California.

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15 Comments on “Tesla Won’t Save NUMMI...”


  • avatar
    rnc

    Just a general question, isn’t NUMMI one of the least modern factories in NA?

    I mean outside of Toyota producing the Prius there (parts would come from Japan and California is the biggest market for (I believe)) is there really any justification for it?

  • avatar
    The Doctor

    Nice picture of Tesla’s latest board meeting.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    The most obvious reason why Tesla isn’t going to take over the empty NUMMI factory is probably more along the lines of them not lasting much longer. They need NUMMI about as much as Fisker does.

  • avatar
    pnnyj

    Wow, I never realized it took over 500,000 square feet of plant space to produce hot air and vaporware.

    It’s wise that they’re looking for a site in California close to the hype mines, the source of their primary raw material.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Elon and the musk(rug)rats?

  • avatar
    Lokkii

    Tesla will never need another factory; I suspect that they soon won’t need the one they have now.

    Although I have to admit that they’ve sold about 499 cars more than I ever thought they would, so I could be wrong.

    So, since electricity won’t save them, the NUMMI UAW workers hopes to get inside Toyota and destroy them from within have just come to an inglorious end.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Umm, Tesla actually produces and sells real cars. Nothing vaporous about them.

    Now if the Volt moved in… that would be questionable.

  • avatar
    zaitcev

    It looks to me that Tesla manages its growth better than SpaceX. They already sell more cars than a few boutique automakers, yet they haven’t broke 1000 employees yet. Meanwhile SpaceX barely launched one commercial payload on the rump of 650 people, coming on to 850 by next year. I find this surprising, and a little worrying. After all, I have no interest in overpriced things, and SpaceX’s whole business plan is to undercut prices by 50% immediately, by 90% in 5 years. Imagine if Tesla Roadster sold for $3000. That’s the revolution we’re talking about here. It’s going to be sad if Tesla succeeds and SpaceX fails, and things remain as expensive as they are.

    BTW, I heard in an interview filmed some time in the beginning of this year (2009) how Elon said that “SpaceX basically is running itself” and he’s switching his attention to Tesla. Oh, brother.

  • avatar
    stuki

    My feeling is, if Tesla is seriously planning on locating a car factory in CA, they either have some fairly solid state backing and guarantees lined up, they’re positioning the company as a candidate for acquisition, or they’ve given up even pretending to have a serious business plan beyond selling the feel good green stuff CA is so famous for. CA is startup heaven for two guys with computers trying to be bought out by Google, but no one in their right mind would attempt to build a manufacturing outfit here.

  • avatar
    Robbie

    It is time we give Tesla some credit. They *did* find a great niche for electric cars: a sports car that can accelerate like crazy. That small niche in the car market will persist into the future.

    (Of course, they will never be a serious volume car manufacturer.)

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    stucki: “…planning on locating a car factory in CA, they either have some fairly solid state backing and guarantees lined up.”

    Maybe Stucki has stumbled onto the source of the massive CA-state budget deficits!!

  • avatar
    rnc

    It seems that even if Tesla doesn’t make it as a car manufacturing company that they have a bright future as a powertrain supplier and possibly an outsource manufacturer of premium (i.e., mercedes) electric cars.

    They’ve made it furthur than anyone would have ever imagined they would.

  • avatar
    97escort

    More Teslas in drag:

    http://peakoilgarage.com/

  • avatar
    askmrlee

    WRONG! Maybe not all of NUMMI is saved, but Tesla and Toyota are in.

  • avatar
    mantizoid

    People love to “offer the opposing view”, be buzz-kills, whatever.
    While trying to look profound, it sometimes backfires however.
    Looks as tho the author was wrong on every count on this one.

    Welcome, Tesla Factory to the former NUMMI Plant!
    See you in 2012!
    http://www.teslafactory.com

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