Tesla [NSDQ:TSLA] on Tuesday announced it has entered an agreement to buy privately-owned Grohmann Engineering.
Upon completion of the deal, estimated to be in early 2017, the company will be rebranded Tesla Grohmann Automation.
Based in Prüm, Germany, Grohmann Engineering develops automated systems for battery and fuel cell production and has previously worked with BMW and Daimler to help build their respective battery plants.
Tesla said it’s been on the hunt for a top “automated manufacturing systems” firm since its decision to increase its production target to 500,000 cars per year in 2018. The Californian company is expected to churn out 80,000 cars in 2016.
Tesla factory, Fremont, California
Grohmann Engineering will become the initial base for a new division Tesla Advanced Automation Germany, which will eventually have several locations in Germany and add around 1,000 advanced engineering and skilled technician jobs over the next two years. This is on top of the 700 jobs already present at Grohmann Engineering.
Several critical elements of Tesla’s automated manufacturing systems will be designed and produced by Grohmann Engineering. Combined with other engineering facilities in California and Michigan, as well as more locations to follow, Tesla is looking to yield “exponential” improvements in the speed and quality of production, while substantially reducing the capital expenditures required per vehicle.
Tesla's existing cars have been dogged by production delays and quality issues so hopefully these will be resolved by the start of production of the critical Model 3, currently slated for late 2017.
And looking further out, Tesla is hoping to advance the design of its factory to such a level that the factory itself becomes more of a product than the product it’s actually producing, making it the “machine that builds the machine,” as Tesla describes it. Tesla could then quickly and easily roll out more factories in preparation for the higher volumes expected for the additional cars outlined in the company’s grand Master Plan.