After SolarCity, Tesla is now on an acquisition spree. Well not really, but it is Tesla’s third acquisition with the last two being back to back considering SolarCity is expected to close this month. Today Tesla announced the acquisition of the German engineering group: Grohmann Engineering.

The firm will be incorporated into what Tesla is now calling ‘Tesla Advanced Automation Germany’ and the company says that other Tesla Advanced Automation groups will be announced in other locations in order to hire the “best engineering talent in automated manufacturing systems”.

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The company is presenting the acquisition as part of its strategy to focus on “the machine that builds the machine” – meaning the factory. Tesla wrote in a press release:

“As the machine that builds the machine, our factories are so important that we believe they will ultimately deserve an order of magnitude more attention in engineering than what they produce. At very high production volumes, the factory becomes more of a product than the product itself. “

Tesla describes Grohmann Engineering, led by founder and CEO Klaus Grohmann, as “one of the world leaders in highly automated methods of manufacturing”. The firm’s headquarters are in Prüm, Germany, and it will become Tesla Grohmann Automation and serve as the base of the automaker’s ‘Tesla Advanced Automation Germany’ group, which the company hope will constitute of “over 1,000 advanced engineering and skilled technician jobs in Germany over the next two years. ”

Grohmann Engineering had over 700 employees before the acquisition: one-third production engineers, one-third technicians, and one-third working on “controls and technology”.

Tesla CTO JB Straubel says that Tesla has been working with Grohmann for over a year on key projects for the Model 3. CEO Elon Musk said that he deeply respects Klaus Grohmann and his team, and Straubel says that the team has been working well with Tesla so it made sense to incorporate it into Tesla and simplify the cooperation.

Musk said that they are not disclosing the terms of the acquisition, but he mentioned that it was Tesla’s “first significant acquisition” considering the SolarCity acquisition is not closed yet. He added that the company plans more significant investments in Germany going forward and that the acquisition should be seen as Tesla’s endorsement of German engineering talent.

Musk and Straubel are currently holding a press call with Grohmann about the announcement. We will update with more information from the call. The story is developing:

Tesla issued a press release for the announcement:

Formation of Tesla Advanced Automation Germany
Accelerating a sustainable energy future is only possible with high-volume factories. They allow us to manufacture high-quality products with economies of scale, making them more affordable and accessible to the world. As the machine that builds the machine, our factories are so important that we believe they will ultimately deserve an order of magnitude more attention in engineering than what they produce. At very high production volumes, the factory becomes more of a product than the product itself.

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After increasing our output target to 500,000 cars per year by 2018, we began searching for the best engineering talent in automated manufacturing systems. Today, we are excited to announce that Tesla has entered into an agreement to acquire Grohmann Engineering, a world-renowned engineering company in Prüm, Germany, which will become Tesla Grohmann Automation.

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Led by founder and CEO Klaus Grohmann, Grohmann Engineering is one of the world leaders in highly automated methods of manufacturing. This transaction will bring Mr. Grohmann’s leadership, a world-class team and unique expertise in-house. Moreover, it will serve as the initial base for Tesla Advanced Automation Germany headquarters, with other locations to follow. We expect to add over 1,000 advanced engineering and skilled technician jobs in Germany over the next two years.

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Under the continued leadership of Mr. Grohmann, several critical elements of Tesla’s automated manufacturing systems will be designed and produced in Prüm to help make our factories the most advanced in the world. Combined with our California and Michigan engineering facilities, as well as other locations to follow, we believe the result will yield exponential improvements in the speed and quality of production, while substantially reducing the capital expenditures required per vehicle.

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To date, we have increased the production rate at our Fremont Factory by 400% in four years, and we expect this acquisition to accelerate that growth rate. While the agreement is contingent upon clearance from regulators, including in Germany, we hope to have full approval and close the acquisition in early 2017. We are excited to have the Grohmann team join us in our goal of becoming the best manufacturer in the world to help accelerate the world’s progress to a sustainable energy future.

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