Toyota Partnering with Tesla

There’s new hope in Fremont, California with news of the likely resurrection of NUMMI, the recently closed GM-Toyota joint venture automobile factory:

Tesla’s announcement Thursday that it was teaming up with Toyota to start making its $50,000 electric Model S at NUMMI, hiring 1,000 workers and possibly creating 10 times that number of jobs down the road, has brought hope back to Fremont, a 92-square-mile piece of Silicon Valley that had seemed shrouded of late with gloom.

The press release from Tesla’s website states:

“I’ve felt an infinite possibility about Tesla’s technology and its dedication to monozukuri (Toyota’s approach to manufacturing),” said TMC President Akio Toyoda. “Through this partnership, by working together with a venture business such as Tesla, Toyota would like to learn from the challenging spirit, quick decision-making, and flexibility that Tesla has. Decades ago, Toyota was also born as a venture business. By partnering with Tesla, my hope is that all Toyota employees will recall that ‘venture business spirit,’ and take on the challenges of the future.”

“Toyota is a company founded on innovation, quality, and commitment to sustainable mobility. It is an honor and a powerful endorsement of our technology that Toyota would choose to invest in and partner with Tesla,” said Tesla CEO and cofounder Elon Musk. “We look forward to learning and benefiting from Toyota’s legendary engineering, manufacturing, and production expertise.”

On the Toyota website PR section there is a press conference video starring Elon Musk, Akio Toyota and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who let a golden opportunity slip by when he failed step into character as the paragon of persistence to deliver this line: “Today we hear the voice of NUMMI and it is saying “I’ll be back.””

In December of 2006 we suggested the top 5 things Toyota could do as the leading automobile manufacturer by volume. Hopefully they are starting at #5 and working their way up the list.

3 Comments

  1. RalfLippold

    May 23, 2010 - 1:56 am

    The MAIN thing Tesla and Toyota have in common:
    1. Drive for perfection
    2. Electricity as gas equivalent
    …. even though most people won’t see the connection yet, this will be fruitful connection for both partners:-)
    Thumbs up !!!

  2. mike

    May 26, 2010 - 1:55 am

    Musk doesn’t exactly share a respect for people though.

  3. Anonymous

    May 26, 2010 - 11:19 am

    No doubt he can learn.