Tesla buys automated manufacturing machine firm

Posted on 9 Nov 2017 by Jonny Williamson

American carmaker has acquired automated manufacturing machine supplier Peblix, as the electric-car maker struggles to boost production of its most important new model.

The acquisition is part of the course in Tesla’s ongoing focus on factory automation, – image courtesy of Pixabay

Perbix has been a Tesla supplier for almost three years, but the acquisition will allow the carmaker to bring the production of more parts in-house, according to a report from CNBC.

The acquisition comes in the middle of a spell of bad news for Tesla production. The company announced last week a massive $619m quarterly loss, and said it would no longer be able to meet its goal of producing 5,000 Model 3 sedans per week in 2017.

On Twitter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk blamed the production problems on unspecified ‘bottlenecks’, with reports suggesting these might include an ongoing reliance on hand-made parts.

Tesla described the deal as a step further in its long-stated ambition to ‘build the machine that makes the machine’.

The acquisition is part of the course in Tesla’s ongoing focus on factory automation, since the car maker had bought Grohmann Engineering already a year ago.

With the acquisition of the German company, Tesla created a new division within the firm called ‘Tesla Advanced Automation Germany’ that would take advantage of engineering talent in the country.

Under the leadership of Mr Grohmann, several critical elements of Tesla’s automated manufacturing systems are designed and produced in Prüm, Germany, since last year.

Tesla did not disclose how much it paid for Perbix, but financial filings show that owner James S. Dudley received 34,772 shares of Tesla stock, worth more than $10m.

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