Tesla buys Grohmann Engineering of Germany

by Jimi Beckwith, Autocar UK 09 Nov 2016


Tesla has acquired Grohmann Engineering, a move it hopes will accelerate its manufacturing technologies as it prepares to put the Model 3 saloon into production.

Grohmann Engineering – soon to be Tesla Grohmann Automation - is based in Prüm, Germany, and specialises in automated manufacturing technology. Tesla says that the acquisition of the company should accelerate its production processes as “the factory becomes more of a product than the product itself”.

Tesla plans to use the Plüm centre as a hub for its factory developments, although no vehicles will be produced at the centre. A total of 1,000 jobs will be created in Plüm in the next two years, with Tesla planning to expand the centre in the near future. The developments in robotic car production which come from Plüm will be used in Tesla’s existing factory in Fremont, California.

Accompanying the announcement of Grohmann Engineering’s acquisition by Tesla was a brief mention of Tesla’s intention to open new factories as demand for its cars grows. A Tesla spokesman said that new cars will not be produced at the plant, suggesting that this would not be the location for a European-based plant yet.

The car maker hopes that opening more factories – previously speculated to be in Asia and Europe following Tesla’s US-based manufacturing plants – will create greater economies of scale in its production process, which will ultimately drive vehicle prices down.

Tesla needs to do this in order to produce more cars like the upcoming Model 3, which will be Tesla’s cheapest model, as well as its best-selling, having already racked up several hundred thousand pre-orders. The Tesla spokesman said that the automation which Grohmann deals with is “critical to reach those economies of scale”.

Grohmann, according to Bloomberg, also serves the telecommunication, consumer electronics and biotechnical industries, and has presence in multiple Asian markets, as well as Europe, Canada, North and Central America, South Africa and Australia. These areas of business will without doubt be of great interest to Tesla, as it seeks to expand its presence globally, as well as diversify its business.

Tesla would not disclose how much it paid to acquire Grohmann.