autoevolution

Tesla Buys Battery Assembly Line Manufacturer ATW

Tesla is said to buy 10 percent of LG Energy Solution in South Korea, but in the meantime, the American automaker from Palo Alto made a more decisive business decision in Germany. As the headline implies, Elon Musk and company have bought ATW Assembly & Test — Europe GmbH along with 210 of its employees.
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The European reports that a takeover agreement has been signed on Tuesday, September 29th, and that “the takeover was toasted on Friday” at the company’s headquarters in Neuwied. Other local publications such as Wirtschaftskurier suggest a similar timeline of events, but the letter sent to business partners of ATW doesn’t mention the Silicon Valley giant that has recently announced record-breaking sales.

There is, however, some evidence that Elon Musk’s pride and joy is the buyer. ATW is one hour’s drive from Tesla Grohmann Automation, the place where the American automaker designs and manufactures battery-making equipment. ATS Automation Tooling System Inc., the company’s previous owner, announced on September 25th that certain assets and employees would be acquired by a third party without disclosing the new owner’s name. In other words, all clues are leading to Tesla.

You also need to take into consideration that a Gigafactory is under construction in Germany, and the Palo Alto-based manufacturer needs all the help and know-how it can get in order to start making batteries as soon as possible and to produce them as efficiently as possible. There is, however, more to ATW Assembly & Test — Europe GmbH than battery manufacturing equipment.

ATW also produces transmission assembly lines, and one of the biggest customers in this regard is Magna PT. Previously known as Getrag, Magna is the world’s largest supplier of transmissions for passenger and commercial vehicles alike. Older customers of ATW include the Volkswagen Group and ZF Friedrichshafen.

In all likelihood, the company will be absorbed by Tesla Grohmann Automation and current contracts with BMW and Daimler AG will be phased out to focus exclusively on Tesla.

 
 
 
 
 

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