Toyota and Tesla announced on Thursday that they would cooperate in developing electric cars, parts and production.
As part of the partnership, Toyota is investing $50 million in Tesla, which makes a $109,000 battery-powered Roadster and is planning a mass-market electric car. Separately, Tesla will take over the New United Motor Manufacturing plant — widely known by its acronym NUMMI.
The UAW thinks the news that Toyota and Tesla are to hook-up to build electric vehicles at the Fremont, California, plant formerly operated by Toyota and General Motors is “welcome news.”
The plant, which built Toyota’s Corolla and Tacoma vehicles and the Pontiac Vibe for GM, had employed about 4,500 workers represented by the UAW.
But in a move the union and California politicians fought to block, Toyota closed the 25-year-old joint-venture plant on April 1 after concluding that it was not economical to keep it running. NUMMI was the only Toyota plant in the United States with union representation, mainly because of the GM involvement,.
The UAW which is wrapped tightly with GM hopes that this venture will give first hiring preference to former NUMMI employees who are already trained and skilled. But GM dropped its stake in the plant as part of its 2009 bankruptcy…,Union involvement is not a part of “The Toyota Way”.