Tesla celebrates 10 years of opening its first factory in Fremont on October 27, 2020. Over the past decade, the company has grown from a small start-up to the world's most valuable EV manufacturer.
Tesla originally planned to build an assembly plant in Albuquerque, New Mexico as a central shipping location. The company had also originally announced the construction of a separate greenfield factory to be built in San Jose, California. However, the cost of building new factories was prohibitive, so Tesla looked for alternatives.
All that was left were broken bots & equipment hardly worth the scrap metal value. But we scrounged up spare parts, fixed the trusty old bots & brought the factory back to life.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 27, 2020
On May 20, 2010, Tesla and Toyota announced a partnership to work on the development of electric vehicles, parts, and production system and engineering support. This included Tesla's partial purchase of the former NUMMI site, mainly consisting of a $42 million factory building.
Tesla officially took possession of the site on October 19, 2010, and held its opening ceremony on October 27.
Tesla started production with just 1,000 workers. By 2013, this number had grown to 3,000, and after another three years to 6,000. In 2016, in preparation for the production of Model 3, Tesla planned to increase its workforce. By Fall of 2017, Tesla had hired around 10,000 employees at the Fremont plant. In just the three years that followed, the company doubled the number of employees to 20,000.
In 2011, Tesla switched from 20 hand-assembled "alpha builds" to 50 "beta builds," production-validation vehicles built entirely at the Tesla Factory. The company had expected to produce around 5,000 Model S sedans in 2012. The first retail delivery of Model S took place during a special event held at the Tesla factory in summer 2012. Production rose from 20 vehicles per week in August 2012 to over 200 by November 5, and then to 400 by the end of December.
On March 20 this year, the company announced a stunning achievement--the production of 1,000,000 vehicles.
Congratulations Tesla team on making our 1,000,000th car!! pic.twitter.com/5M99a9LLQi— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 10, 2020
Tesla has pulled through heroically--and shined--despite a tremendous yet harrowing journey, with many ups and downs. This struggle is likely exactly what was going to be necessary if a company were to successfully fight for a better future for our planet and our generations ahead. The company's goal is to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy, and Tesla continues to stay true to this value--despite all odds.
© 2020, Eva Fox. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.