October 29, 2010 > Tesla takes over
Tesla takes over
Since the announcement of NUMMI's closure, the large manufacturing facility just off Hwy 880 in Fremont had become a symbol of decline within the auto industry. On Wednesday, October 27, 2010, a gathering of elected officials and employees of Tesla Motors witnessed the beginning of a new era in the greater Tri-City area, the Bay Area and beyond. Tesla Motors made an official announcement of the completion of its purchase of the NUMMI facility and selected equipment to begin the process of conversion from assembling standard automobiles and trucks to electric vehicles.
A new sign appeared on the former NUMMI building. Iconic lettering of TESLA was unveiled as Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Cal spoke of a local "green" manufacturing base and Tesla CEO, Elon Musk talked about future plans for the facility purchased from NUMMI for $42 million.
Currently, TESLA is redesigning a small portion of the 5.5 million square foot space to accommodate production of its new Model S electric sedan expected to cost approximately $50,000. Plans are to eventually build a mass market third-generation electric car at half the cost of the Model S and expand production and engineering within the facility. Advances in battery technology have significantly increased the range (up to 300 miles) between charges.
Musk noted that although limited production of the Model S is expected within the next several years and will employ approximately 500 workers, future plans involve significant expansion, use of the entire physical plant and the talents of 5,000 employees. Workers for automobile assembly will not be hired until the latter part of 2011 and production of the Model S is expected in mid-2012.