Last time Tesla bought a shuttered GM factory, it turned out pretty well for the electric automaker.
Now there could be another occasion for Tesla to take over a shuttered GM plant as the automaker is restructuring its operations.
Back in 2010, Tesla bought NUMMI, a car factory jointly owned by General Motors and Toyota in Fremont California, for just $42 million shortly after it was shut down.
The company gradually built the workforce back, including many former NUMMI workers, and now 8 years later, Tesla Fremont employs more employees than the original factory and it produces electric vehicles at a rate of over 300,000 units per year.
The move to acquire the existing plant instead of building something from scratch is believed to an important part of Tesla’s early success.
Yesterday, GM announced that they are closing 3 assembly factories in North America and those plants might represent opportunities for Tesla to get new factories as it is looking for more manufacturing capacity.
GM’s Oshawa Assembly in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly in Detroit, and Lordstown Assembly in Warren, Ohio are all going to shut down next year.
Tesla currently has 4 vehicles on its product roadmap without official factories assigned to them: Model Y, Tesla Semi, Tesla Pickup truck, and next-gen Roadster.
Over the last few years, Tesla has confirmed its intentions to have new factories in Europe, China, and North America.
I know that Tesla is not in the same situation as it was back in 2010 when it bought NUMMI, but it worked out so well that I think they should at least consider the possibility.
They would get some infrastructure for cheap and have easy access to a skilled workforce.
I think the biggest drawback would be that Tesla is aiming to take a different and more highly automated approach to manufacturing with its upcoming new vehicles and that might possibly be easier to implement from the ground up.
But I don’t think that it would be impossible to do in an existing factory.
What do you think? Should Tesla go shopping for another soon-to-be shuttered GM factory? If so, which one do you think would make the most sense? Let us know in the comment section below.