avatarby Nick HallNovember 8, 20160 comments

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Tesla has acquired Grohmann Engineering in Germany as it bids to ramp up its automated manufacturing.

The German company is an established master in automated manufacturing and now, as Tesla Grohmann Automation, it will form the think-tank for Tesla’s future manufacturing activities and a European base. Tesla plans to recruit more than 1000 engineers and technicians in Germany within two years.

This could help cars, batteries, solar panels and more

Mr Grohmann will retain a pivotal role in the new firm and will oversee the development of a number of automated manufacturing systems that will almost certainly have an impact on the Model 3 and Model Y production lines. The Gigafactories that Elon Musk wants to roll out around the world could well benefit from his company’s expertise, too.

Grohmann will work with teams in California and Michigan to streamline the production process and ensure that Tesla can meet the demand for the upcoming cars, batteries, Powerpacks and solar panels.

Delivering product is becoming an issue

Simply getting the product out the door could make a massive difference to Tesla’s future as the demand is clearly there. If it can cut the manufacturing costs at the same time then Tesla’s profit margins should go through the roof.

“We believe the result will yield exponential improvements in the speed and quality of production, while substantially reducing the capital expenditures required per vehicle,” said a blog post on Tesla.com. “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.”

Tesla has made a name for itself with groundbreaking products and it deserves more credit than it has really been given for the Gigafactory concept. Now it if he can reinvent the manufacturing process itself, Musk could go on to realize his vision of cheap and sustainable energy for the world, as well as hitting his deadlines for the Model 3 and bringing a worrying wait list under control.

If you order a Model 3 right now then you’re looking at 18-months before the car is on your drive. Of course it’s not due to start production until the end of 2017, but there is already, effectively, a six-month bottleneck in the production schedule. If Musk can remove that through the application of science and the acquisition of Grohmann Engineering before it even happens, then it’s a master stroke that we have to quietly applaud.

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