Tesla Factory

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Tesla Factory
Industry Automotive industry
Predecessor NUMMI 1984–2010
Fremont Assembly 1960–1982
Founded 2010 (2010)
Headquarters Fremont, California, United States
Products Battery electric vehicles
Services Automotive manufacturing
Owner Tesla Motors
Website Official website

The Tesla Factory is an automobile manufacturing plant in Fremont, California, US, and the principal production facility of Tesla Motors. The facility was formerly known as New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI), a joint venture between General Motors and Toyota.[1] The plant is located in the East Industrial area of Fremont between Interstates 880 and 680.


The former NUMMI (now Tesla) plant in Fremont, California
A Tesla Model S being manufactured at the Tesla Factory

Tesla Motors had planned for an assembly factory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as a central location for shipping.[2][3] Construction was supposed to begin in April 2007, but was canceled.[4]

A separate greenfield factory to be built in San Jose, California was also announced.[5] However, the cost was prohibitive, and the company looked for alternatives.

NUMMI was established in 1984 by General Motors and Toyota at the site of the defunct Fremont Assembly site. It was a joint venture created to manufacture vehicles which would be sold under both brands. GM pulled out of the venture in June 2009, and several months later Toyota announced plans to pull out by March 2010.[6][7]

At 9:40 am on April 1, 2010, the plant produced its last car, a red Toyota Corolla S believed to be destined for a museum in Japan.[8] Production of Corollas in North America moved to Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi's assembly plant in Blue Springs, Mississippi.[citation needed] Up until May 2010, NUMMI built an average of 6,000 vehicles a week, or nearly eight million cars and trucks.[9][10]

On May 20, 2010, Tesla Motors and Toyota announced a partnership to work on electric vehicle development and collaborate on the "development of electric vehicles, parts, and production system and engineering support". This included Tesla's partial purchase of the former NUMMI site, mainly consisting of the factory building,[11][12] for $42 million.[13][14]

Tesla Motors officially took possession of the site on October 19, 2010,[15] and opened it on October 27.[16] The first retail delivery of the Tesla Model S took place during a special event held at the Tesla Factory on June 22, 2012.[17]


The 370-acre (150 ha) site is mostly unused, with most activity concentrated in the 5,500,000-square-foot (510,000 m2) main building that does the final assembly of vehicles.[15]

Various parts of the NUMMI plant were planned to be modified to support Tesla vehicle production. For example, the passenger vehicle paint equipment was to be extensively modified through late 2011.[15][dated info]

Over $17 million of manufacturing equipment and spare parts were acquired from NUMMI and Toyota in 2011, at significant discounts compared to new equipment.[18]

The floors, walls and ceiling are painted white with skylights and high-efficiency lighting to create an environment similar to a laboratory.[19]


Tesla Motors started production with 1,000 workers.[20] By 2013, this had risen to 3,000.[21]


New Tesla Model S cars at the Tesla Factory in 2012

The plant's first series production vehicle is the Tesla Model S full-sized battery electric sedan. The plant will eventually be capable of producing 20,000 vehicles a year.[22]

In 2011, Tesla Motors transitioned from hand-assembled "alpha builds" to "beta builds", production-validation vehicles built entirely at the Tesla Factory. These cars will also be used for system integration, engineering testing, and federal crash-testing and certification.[23] Tesla expects to produce about 5,000 Model S sedans in 2012, with production ramping up to 20,000 in 2013 if necessary.[24] The first retail delivery of the Model S took place during a special event held at the Tesla Factory on June 22, 2012.[17]

Production of the future Model X will join the Model S following a short reconfiguration of the reduction line during July 2014,[25] with a US$100 million investment for a new production line.[26]


In November 2013 there was an accident when the low-pressure aluminum casting press failed, spilling molten metal on three workers and causing their clothing to catch fire. Tesla was fined US$89,000 by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health for seven safety violations, six considered serious.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sibley, Lisa (2010-10-27). "Tesla officially replaces NUMMI in Fremont". 
  2. ^ "Tesla Motors press release - announcement of Albuquerque plant". Teslamotors.com. Retrieved 2010-11-27. [dead link]
  3. ^ Severns, Dave. "Tesla Motors blog post regarding Albuquerque decision". Teslamotors.com. Retrieved 2010-11-27. [dead link]
  4. ^ "The Albuquerque Tribune Editorial: Don't hold your breath on Tesla Motors plant". Abqtrib.com. Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  5. ^ "Tesla to build electric car factory in Bay Area - San Jose Mercury News". Mercurynews.com. Retrieved 2010-11-27. [dead link]
  6. ^ Ken Thomas (2009-08-28). "Toyota plans to end production at Calif. plant". Google News. Retrieved 2009-08-29. [dead link]
  7. ^ Abate, Tom (2009-08-28). "Toyota closing Fremont Nummi plant". SFGate. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  8. ^ "NUMMI Plant Closure Ends Toyota-GM Venture". 2010-03-31. Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  9. ^ "The End Of The Line For GM-Toyota Joint Venture". All Things Considered. National Public Radio. 2010-03-26. Retrieved 2010-04-07. 
  10. ^ "Episode 403 - NUMMI". This American Life. 2010-03-26. Retrieved 2010-04-07. 
  11. ^ Lindsay Riddell (2010-04-20). "Tesla to buy NUMMI plant, build cars with Toyota". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  12. ^ Tesla Wants NUMMI Operational By 2012 KVTU.com, 21 May 2010. Retrieved: 2010-05-22
  13. ^ "Tesla paid only $42 million for Nummi plant" By David R. Baker, San Francisco Gate, May 28, 2010
  14. ^ Tierney, Christine. Toyota invests in Tesla to help reopen Calif. plant The Detroit News, 20 May 2010. Retrieved: 2010-05-22[dead link]
  15. ^ a b c PUI-WING TAM (2010-10-21). "Idle Fremont Plant Gears Up for Tesla". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2011-04-03. 
  16. ^ "Tesla Motors Opens Tesla Factory - Home of the Model S" (Press release). Tesla Motors. 2010-10-27. Retrieved 2012-07-18. 
  17. ^ a b John Boudreau (2012-06-22). "In a Silicon Valley milestone, Tesla Motors begins delivering Model S electric cars". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  18. ^ "Tesla Motors Reports Fourth Quarter And Full Year 2010 Results". TheStreet. 2011-02-15. Retrieved 2014-09-18. 
  19. ^ "Tesla Factory". Teslamotors.com. Retrieved 8 March 2015. 
  20. ^ Baker, David R. (2012-06-22). "Tesla starts delivery out of former Nummi plant". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  21. ^ "Peek Inside Tesla’s Robotic Factory". Wired. 16 July 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2014. 
  22. ^ "Tesla lands sudden deal with Toyota, will build Model S sedan in Fremont NUMMI plant". Engadget. Retrieved 2011-09-24. 
  23. ^ "Tesla Wants Some Engineering Cred" By Chuck Squatriglia, Wired.com, January 6, 2011
  24. ^ Alan Ohnsman (2010-03-07). "Tesla Model S Assembly to Begin With Highest-Priced Version". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2011-04-03. 
  25. ^ "Fremont Factory Delays Shouldn't Affect Tesla's Sales This Quarter". Forbes. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 31 December 2014. 
  26. ^ "Tesla idles Fremont production line for Model X upgrade". San Jose Mercury. 22 July 2014. Retrieved 31 December 2014. 
  27. ^ "Tesla Motors faces $89,000 in fines for incident that injured workers at Fremont facility". San Jose Mercury News. 1 May 2014. Retrieved 31 December 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°29′41.12″N 121°56′41.16″W / 37.4947556°N 121.9447667°W / 37.4947556; -121.9447667