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Tesla (TSLA) acquires German battery assembly line maker supplying BMW and Mercedes

Tesla is acquiring a German battery assembly line manufacturer supplying BMW and Mercedes-Benz, according to several reports.

Over the last few years, Tesla has been on a buying spree of companies involved in manufacturing engineering and building machines for manufacturing, like Hibar Systems and Compass Automation.

Now Tesla is reportedly adding another similar company as a subsidiary as it plans to deploy its own battery cell manufacturing capacity.

Several reports comping from Germany, including from The European and the Wirtschaftskurier, confirm that Tesla acquired ATW Assembly & Test — Europe GmbH, a subsidiary of ATS Automation.

ATW specializes in building assembly lines for battery and transmission manufacturing for major German automakers, like BMW and Daimler.

The company was in financial trouble and there were reports that it was about to close its doors.

Now we learn that Tesla reportedly swooped in and bought the company of 210 employees.

The European reports (translated from German):

ATW’s business partners received notification on Tuesday that they had agreed on the takeover by a manufacturer of electric vehicles ‘in California.’ That this is Tesla, based in Palo Alto, California’s Silicon Valley, was not confirmed in the letter, but word got around in the industry. A celebration at ATW in Neuwied, where the takeover was toasted on Friday, may have contributed to this. Several Tesla vehicles with the “BIT” license plate drove up for Bitburg. The company Tesla Grohmann Automation GmbH, which operated as Grohmann Engineering GmbH until January 2017, is based in Prüm, which belongs to the Eifel district of Bitburg-Prüm. Then the manufacturer of airbag sensors, electronic steering aids.

ATW’s location in Neuwied (pictured above) is only about an hour’s drive from Tesla Grohmann Automation in Prüm, where Tesla manufactures most of its battery manufacturing equipment.

ATS, ATW’s parent company, confirmed last month that they had a conditional agreement to sell the company, but they have yet to confirm the sale.

However, several German reports seem to confirm that the acquisition went through.

Electrek’s Take

If the reports are true, and it looks extremely likely, I bet the company is going to be absorbed by Tesla Grohmann Automation.

Prior to be acquired by Tesla, Grohmann was also working with German automakers.

Tesla is likely going to phase out those contracts in order to focus entirely on Tesla’s operations.

The automaker is planning to deploy so many production lines in the next few years, both for vehicle and battery production, that it makes sense to add 200 people on board with experience deploying production lines.

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