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Tesla buys Grohmann Engineering to speed up electric car manufacturing

While Apple is still deciding whether or not to design its own electric car, Tesla has announced its acquisition of Grohmann Engineering, which could help dramatically increase output of the Model S, X, and 3.




The takeover —expected to close by early 2017 —will rechristen Grohmann as Tesla's Advanced Automation facility in Germany, dedicated to further automating and streamlining manufacturing, TechCrunch reported on Tuesday. Tesla said that it expects "exponential improvements" in both the speed and quality of its output, lowering production costs in the process.

Despite the focus on automation, the German facility is expected to add as many as 1,000 engineering and technician jobs in the next two years —more than doubling Grohmann's current 700-strong workforce.

"We thought it was important that Tesla become, in part, a German company," said Tesla CEO Elon Musk. "That's what this was all about."

The two firms have been in a partnership for several months, which Tesla CTO J.B. Straubel said led to the belief they could do more as a combined entity.

Tesla has declared ambitions of becoming a mainstream car manufacturer, mainly via the Model 3, which will cost only $35,000 before any government incentives. Preorders have been so intense, though, that the company has been scrambling to ramp up production as fast as possible. Part of this will hinge on its battery-oriented Gigafactory in Nevada, which is already operational but won't hit full capacity until 2018.

Apple's first electric car project is in limbo. While the company is still believed to be developing self-driving technology, it may not decide until late next year whether it wants to resume creating its own car or partner with an established automaker.