Elon Musk has big ambitions for Tesla Motors, already imagining a day not too far out where the electric automaker is selling “a few million” electric vehicles every year. That day is still years away, though Tesla did take a small step towards becoming a larger enterprise with the purchase of a Michigan tool and die making company. Now Tesla has a presence in Detroit’s back yard.
The Detroit News reports that Tesla bought Riviera Tool LLC for an undisclosed price, taking control of the factory and its approximately 100 employees, many of whom are expected to stay on the job. Renamed the Tesla Tool and Die Factory, the company produces high-speed, large-scale custom metal stamping devices, with clients that include America’s Big Three automakers, as well as BMW, Nissan, and Daimler.
“This acquisition enables Tesla to bring additional capabilities in-house, streamlining production and facilitating the introduction of Model X and increased production at the Tesla Fremont (California) factory,” Tesla said through its spokesperson. “This is our first presence in Michigan.”
In addition to being an important manufacturing acquisition, having a literal footprint in Michigan could bestow several advantages to Tesla. For one, it could give the automaker the leverage needed to open up a direct sales deal with a currently-closed market. Perhaps Tesla is also hoping to form a closer working relationship with its neighbors/rivals, though the electric automaker has already stated it plans focus the facility’s full capabilities on Tesla’s needs after completing any outstanding projects for other automakers. I’m not sure that is making Musk any friends right now, though it does add to Tesla’s growing competitive advantage.
It’s all just a part of business, I suppose.