Toyota Teams with Tesla on Electric Vehicle Production
In a joint press conference this week, Toyota announced it will invest $50 million in Tesla Motors to collaborate on the manufacture of the Telsa Model S sedan. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that the NUMMI factory located in Fremont, CA, will be reopened and will receive a sales tax abatement equivalent to $20 million on capital expenditures to get the manufacturing plant 'tooled up' to produce 20,000 electric vehicles by 2012. The factory, which was the only unionized North American Toyota plant before being shut down last year, will re-hire about 1,000 previous employees, but union representation issues have yet to be addressed.
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, says the collaboration with Toyota will solve many of their logistical problems because they will now have access to Toyota's assembly line methods and can order components from their suppliers.
The choice of location came as a shock to Downey, CA, who was just hours away from signing the lease. Councilmember Mario Guerra stated that "Tesla has been extremely disingenuous in their dealing with Downey and I now have new appreciation as to why America is fed up with many large corporations."