Fremont Assembly 1960–1982
|Headquarters||Fremont, California, United States|
|Products||Battery electric vehicles|
|This article is outdated. (February 2013)|
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. The plant is located in the East Industrial area of Fremont between Interstates 880 and 680.
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.
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. Production of Corollas in North America moved to Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi's assembly plant in Blue Springs, Mississippi. Up until May 2010, NUMMI built an average of 6,000 vehicles a week, or nearly eight million cars and trucks.
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, for $42 million.
Tesla Motors officially took possession of the site on October 19, 2010, and opened it on October 27. The first retail delivery of the Tesla Model S took place during a special event held at the Tesla Factory on June 22, 2012.
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.
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.[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.
The floors, walls and ceiling are painted white with skylights and high-efficiency lighting to create an environment similar to a laboratory.
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. Tesla expects to produce about 5,000 Model S sedans in 2012, with production ramping up to 20,000 in 2013 if necessary. The first retail delivery of the Model S took place during a special event held at the Tesla Factory on June 22, 2012.
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.
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- Official website
- The Tesla Factory: Birthplace of the Model S Tesla Motors photo tour
- Photo Tour of NUMMI from Edmunds.com[dead link]
- NPR's This American Life's full hour story of the creation and demise of NUMMI - episode #403 from This American Life
- "Brand New Tesla Factory", National Geographic video
- How Tesla Builds Electric Cars, A Wired 3 part documentary on the Tesla Factory.