Toyota, Tesla Motors breathe new life into NUMMI plant

Partnership could bring 1,000 jobs back to facility that closed April 1

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Thursday that Toyota Motor Corp. will be teaming up with Tesla Motors to build electric cars at the former New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant in Fremont.

The NUMMI plant, a joint venture between General Motors and

Toyota, closed on April 1, roughly nine months after GM announced its withdrawal from the partnership in August 2009.

The closure left 4,700 employees jobless and affected another

estimated 25,000 people working at suppliers around the state that do business with NUMMI, according to a study commissioned by state Treasurer Bill Lockyer.

Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk, and Toyota's CEO, Akio Toyoda, joined the governor Thursday to announce the partnership. Musk said they have already begun hiring back a lot of NUMMI workers.

"We expect to hire many more in the future," he said, adding they are currently hiring about 50 new employees per month.

Discussions are still at an early stage of exactly what the plant

will produce, but Musk did imply that at least part of the NUMMI plant will be used to produce their new Model S, a fully electric four-door sedan that was developed with help from loans from the Department of Energy. "We're expecting production of model S to start in 2012," said Musk.

Fremont Mayor Bob Wasserman said he's "very happy" that Tesla will be making electric vehicles at the NUMMI plant. "We want to lead in making our cities green and our state green and this is a big step in that direction," he said.

But Wasserman said the city is going to "continue to plan to see

what the total property will be used for," as there is unused land adjacent to the NUMMI site."

He said, "Manufacturing is fine, but we don't want to be limited

to manufacturing.''

Although Tesla said its new production might create about 1,000

jobs, which is much less than the approximately 5,000 jobs at the site before, Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson said if Tesla is successful it could add more jobs in the future. And he said keeping the plant going will help save many jobs at suppliers who did business with NUMMI.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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Like this comment
Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2010 at 9:10 pm

This is great news! California and the Bay Area must be doing something right to attract businesses to locate their manufacturing here.

Like this comment
Posted by letsgo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2010 at 9:32 pm

At last a bit of good new in the Bay area...good luck Tesla. I understand that they will(or may) be selling an affordable car soon - I guess this plant deal is a sign of that.

Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on May 21, 2010 at 9:36 pm

"...if Tesla is successful it could add more jobs in the future."
Keep the union out and it just might be a success.

Like this comment
Posted by Dan
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Let me see if I've got this straight.

1. Electric cars are preferred over gas-powered cars because they will help to "save" our planet from nasty consumption of oil.

2. Obama's Cap and Trade bill will exponentially increase taxes upon the coal industry.

3. Coal is needed to produce electricity.

4. Democrats will not allow additional nuclear power plants to be built which would greatly increase our electricity supply.

5. Our electricity bills will skyrocket as deliberately designed by Obama.

6. Just having a couple electric cars on the same block, when being recharged, may cause brownouts.

7. Even if the Tesla cars are mass produced, we won't have enough electricity to power them...or the electricity will be so costly, that we are going to be in a world of hurt.

8. This is yet another one of those democrat programs that will fail because the negative impacts are overwhelming.

Like this comment
Posted by Bowler
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on May 21, 2010 at 10:15 pm

Dan -- Your insistence that "2. Obama's Cap and Trade bill will exponentially increase taxes upon the coal industry." is a red herring. When was the last time you saw a headline screaming of the dangers of acid rain on the forests of the northeast US and parts of Canada? You have cap-and-trade to thank for reducing the effects caused by unregulated coal plant polluters. The coal industry self-regulated itself into compliance with the Clean Air Act, and made money doing it.

Web Link

Don't use Obama's carbon emissions trading proposals as a reason to deny Americans good jobs building innovative automobiles.

Like this comment
Posted by Good Luck!!!
a resident of Danville
on May 21, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Let's see Toyota buys most of the stock of the company for 50M and then Tesla uses government money (taxpayers) $427,000,000 to buy the plant from NUMMI and assumes the environmental move Toyota!!! and immediately Tesla will be organized by the union and then the death spiral begins.

Like this comment
Posted by Horace
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 22, 2010 at 1:48 am

"Tesla Motors breathe new life into NUMMI plant"


Union workers drain the life out of NUMMI plant

Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 22, 2010 at 7:54 am

I think this has a lot of potential of success. I'm glad to see Tesla moving to Fremont and providing a fraction of the jobs lost by Nummi. I also hope the ex Nummi workers that get hired back remember that the union is one of the reasons Nummi closed. If they revert to "business as usual" with Tesla there is no doubt in my mind Tesla will fail. Tesla isn't established enough to deal with the UAW's unreasonable demands. Hopefully since Tesla is only hiring back 1,000 or so Nummi workers they'll be able to pick the top percent that don't have to rely on the UAW to remain employed.

Like this comment
Posted by MR. TESLA
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jun 3, 2010 at 3:50 pm


Like this comment
Posted by Too Close to Home!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Who said they were going to hire back NUMMI workers? My family has been severely affected by the NUMMI closure. Tesla can not pay our guys anywhere near what they were making. I am aware of a husband wife team that left NUMMI and went to work for Tesla and their combined income from Tesla does not even come close to what they were making at NUMMI just to replace one of their salaries. Tesla does not have the means to employ the caliber of employee that NUMMI was able to employ. I suggest we send our kids to work there for summer jobs, because that is the caliber of employer that they will be! If Tesla gets into bed with the UAW it would be the worst decision ever. Lets remind the public that the President and Vice President of the UAW were still collecting a paycheck during the closure and still continue to do our guys are struggling to retrain, maintain their unemployment and are battling with the struggles of the current job market.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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