Toyota and Tesla Will Reopen NUMMI to Build Electric Cars
Toyota’s CEO Akio Toyoda said on Thursday that his company is investing $50 million in the joint venture, which will also include the development of an electric vehicle together with Tesla.
Under the deal, Tesla will build its Model S electric sedan and also future vehicles. Tesla officials said they favored the Fremont plant over Downey and Long Beach since NUMMI is functional and needs less investment. The proximity to the company’s headquarters in Palo Alto also was a plus.
"The Tesla factory effectively leverages an ideal combination of hardcore Silicon Valley engineering talent, traditional automotive engineering talent and the proven Toyota production system. We look forward to learning and benefiting from Toyota's legendary engineering, manufacturing and production expertise," said Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Toyota officials said they hoped their company’s expertise in innovation and Tesla's business skills would help the Japanese auto maker efforts in making alternative-energy vehicles.
"By partnering with Tesla, my hope is that all Toyota employees will recall that 'venture business spirit' and take on the challenges of the future," Toyota President Akio Toyoda said in a statement. Toyota said it plans to introduce electric vehicles in 2012.
Present at the press conference, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said the Toyota-Tesla partnership will create 1,000 jobs and added that some of the NUMMI workers who had been laid off will be rehired.