Drives and Controls Magazine
Tesla buys German automation firm to boost output six-fold
Published:  21 November, 2016

The US electric car-maker Tesla is buying a German automation specialist, Grohmann Engineering, to help it boost output from around 80,000 vehicles a year at present, to 500,000 by 2018. Grohmann will be renamed Tesla Grohmann Automation and its workforce is expected to expand from around 700 to more than 1,000 over the next two years. Grohmann’s site in Prüm will also serve as the initial base for Tesla Advanced Automation Germany, with other locations to follow.

Grohmann’s founder and CEO, Klaus Grohmann, is staying with the business, which specialises in automated manufacturing of products including batteries. Its clients have included Daimler and BMW, and its revenues in 2015 totalled €123m.

Tesla says the new business will design and produce “critical” elements for its automated manufacturing systems and will help to make its factories “the most advanced in the world”. Combined with existing engineering facilities in the US, the acquisition “will yield exponential improvements in the speed and quality of production, while substantially reducing the capital expenditures required per vehicle”. Tesla has boosted production at its Californian plant by 400% over the past four years and expects the acquisition to accelerate that growth.

Tesla wants to boost production to more than 500,000 vehicles a year by 2018