Industry: Manufacturing
News
Nov. 7, 2017

Luxury electric carmaker Tesla this week acquired a small, Minnesota-based factory automation company, in hopes of fixing unexpected bottlenecks on its Model 3 production line. Perbix launched in 1976 and employs 150 people in a suburb north of Minneapolis. Tesla said it’s worked with the engineering firm for nearly three years, on a number of projects on the production line at its Fremont car factory and its Gigafactory in Reno. Terms of the deal were not immediately released.

News
Oct. 22, 2017

Electric-car maker Tesla has reached an agreement to set up its own manufacturing facility in Shanghai, according to people briefed on the plan, a move that could help it gain traction in China's fast-growing market for electric vehicles.

The deal with Shanghai's government will allow the Silicon Valley auto maker to build a wholly owned factory in the city's free-trade zone, these people said. This arrangement, the first of its kind for a foreign auto maker, could enable Tesla to slash production costs, but it would still likely incur China's 25% import tariff.

News
Oct. 13, 2017

Tesla confirmed Friday afternoon that it has laid off hundreds of employees this week following reports that the company had cut somewhere between 300 and 700 jobs.

The job cuts come as the Palo Alto-based electric car company ramps up manufacturing for its moderately priced Model 3. CEO Elon Musk last week said the company was delaying the unveiling of its all-electric semi truck as Model 3 production hit assembly-line snags.

The layoffs were not part of structured reductions but as a result of company-wide annual reviews, a Tesla spokesperson said in a statement to the Silicon Valley Business Journal on Friday afternoon. As part of the review process, some workers received promotions and bonuses, she said, and the company is continuing to hire.

News
Oct. 6, 2017

Following Ford's announcement that it would shift more resources to electric cars, the United Auto Workers has begun talks with the automaker about the potential impact of more electric-car production on jobs.

. . . In a presentation to investors earlier this week, Ford CEO Jim Hackett said electric cars will reduce "hours to build" by 30 percent compared to internal-combustion models. If a car takes less time to build, the carmaker won't need as many workers. Settles said he has met one-on-one with Hackett to discuss the issue.

News
Oct. 2, 2017

U.S. factory activity surged to a more than 13-year high in September amid strong gains in new orders and raw material prices, pointing to underlying strength in the economy even as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are expected to dent growth in the third quarter.

The economic outlook was also bolstered by other data on Monday showing a rebound in construction spending in August. The acceleration in manufacturing activity and the accompanying increase in prices could harden expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity surged to a reading of 60.8 last month, the highest reading since May 2004, from 58.8 in August.

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