Tesla Motors and Toyota Announce Partnership; Potential for 1,000 Green Jobs in California

On Thursday, May 20th in Palo Alto, California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, President and Chief Executive Officer of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) Akio Toyoda, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tesla Motors Elon Musk and Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado announced a partnership between the two automotive companies.  Highlights of this partnership include:

1. Toyota investment in Tesla.  TMC will purchase $50 million of Tesla’s common stock issued in a private placement to close immediately subsequent to the closing of Tesla’s currently planned initial public offering.

2. Joint ventures between Tesla and Toyota.  The two companies announced that they intend to cooperate on the development of electric vehicles, parts, and production system and engineering support.

In addition, Tesla announced that it will acquire the NUMMI plant (an auto plant that closed earlier this year) in Fremont, California.  Tesla will use the NUMMI plant to begin production of its second generation vehicle, the Model S EV (a 300-mile range, seven-seat SUV). Once it reaches full production mode at the NUMMI plant, Tesla expects to produce 20,000 EVs per year.

It has been reported that the action announced on Thursday could create more than 1,000 green jobs in California.

“What we are witnessing today is an historic example of California’s transition to a cleaner, greener and more prosperous future. We challenged auto companies to innovate, and both Tesla and Toyota stepped up in a big way, not only creating vehicles that reduce emissions and appeal to consumers but also boosting economic growth,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “Tesla, just a start-up company a few years ago, will soon employ Californians in green jobs on a large scale at the former NUMMI plant. In fact, Tesla’s founding and expansion in California is a direct result of our nation-leading policies that support demand for green products and the companies and people who produce them. I am thrilled with today’s announcement and can’t wait to see what this partnership brings next."

"I’ve felt an infinite possibility about Tesla’s technology and its dedication to monozukuri (Toyota’s approach to manufacturing)," said TMC President Akio Toyoda. "Through this partnership, by working together with a venture business such as Tesla, Toyota would like to learn from the challenging spirit, quick decision-making, and flexibility that Tesla has. Decades ago, Toyota was also born as a venture business. By partnering with Tesla, my hope is that all Toyota employees will recall that ‘venture business spirit,’ and take on the challenges of the future."

"Toyota is a company founded on innovation, quality, and commitment to sustainable mobility. It is an honor and a powerful endorsement of our technology that Toyota would choose to invest in and partner with Tesla,” said Tesla CEO and cofounder Elon Musk. “We look forward to learning and benefiting from Toyota’s legendary engineering, manufacturing, and production expertise."

cross posted from Green VC

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