The heads of Tesla Motors Inc. and Toyota Motor Co. have revealed that they are teaming up to build electric vehicles at the recently closed New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) auto plant in Fremont, California.
Toyota’s CEO Akio Toyoda said it will invest $50 million in the joint venture. As part of the deal, Tesla will build its Model S electric sedan and also future vehicles. The new alliance would produce a joint Toyota-Tesla car that would be a Toyota vehicle powered by a Tesla drive-train, hitting the market before the Model S.
NUMMI, which started life as a joint venture between Toyota and GM producing the Toyota Matrix and Pontiac Vibe, was closed in April, which employed 4,700 workers. The plant had been open since 1984 and it produced almost 8 million vehicles. Reopening the plant will create 1,000 jobs and some of the NUMMI workers who had been laid off will be rehired, said California governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Production of the Model S will begin in 2012, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggested that both companies will use the plant to develop new models in parallel with the Model S.
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