On October 27, 2020, Tesla celebrates 10 years since the launch of its first factory in Fremont. The company has evolved over the past decade, from a small start-up to the most valuable EV manufacturer in the world.
As a central shipping location, Tesla originally intended to construct an assembly plant in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The company had also originally announced the construction in San Jose, California of a separate greenfield factory. The cost of constructing new factories, however, was prohibitive, so Tesla searched for alternatives.
Tesla and Toyota announced a partnership on May 20, 2010, to collaborate on the development of electric vehicles, parts, production systems and support for engineering. This included the partial acquisition of the former NUMMI site by Tesla, consisting primarily of a factory building worth $42 million.
On October 19, 2010, Tesla formally took ownership of the site and held its opening ceremony on October 27.
With only 1,000 employees, Tesla began production. By 2013, this figure had risen to 3,000, and to 6,000 after another three years. In 2016, Tesla intended to increase its workforce in preparation for the Model 3 launch. By the fall of 2017, at the Fremont plant, Tesla had employed around 10,000 people. The organization doubled the number of staff to 20,000 in just the three years that followed.
In 2011, Tesla moved from 20 hand-assembled “alpha builds” to 50 “beta builds,” vehicles designed entirely at the Tesla Factory for production-validation. In 2012, the company had anticipated the production of about 5,000 Model S sedans. During a special event held at the Tesla plant in the summer of 2012, the first retail delivery of the Model S took place. In August 2012, production increased from 20 vehicles per week to over 200 by November 5, and then to 400 by the end of December.
The company reported a stunning milestone on March 20 this year — the production of 1,000,000 vehicles.
Despite a monumental and harrowing trip, Tesla pulled through heroically — and shone — with several ups and downs. If an organization wanted to fight effectively for a better future for our world and our generations ahead, this struggle is possibly exactly what will be required. The company’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to renewable energy and, against all odds, Tesla continues to remain true to this value.
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