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Clean Transport

Published on November 18th, 2017 | by James Ayre


Tesla Acquires Automated Manufacturing Equipment Designer Perbix Machine Co.

November 18th, 2017 by  

Tesla has agreed to acquire the privately owned automated manufacturing equipment designer Perbix Machine Co., the company has revealed.

The move follows not too long after (well around a year after …) the electric vehicle pioneer moved to acquire the German automated manufacturing tech producer Grohmann Engineering. And this represents a further demonstration of Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s belief that there are still vast improvements that can be made to current manufacturing paradigms and Tesla’s internal focus on that can add value.

Notably, the financial terms of the new acquisition have not been publicly disclosed — so it’s hard to judge exactly what Tesla is intending to get out of the firm.

Also notable, of course, is that Minnesota-based Perbix has been one of Tesla’s suppliers for going on 3 years — so the acquisition effectively amounts to Tesla bringing more parts production in house to cut costs in some way, at the very least.

Reuters provides some context: “Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has insisted on performing much of the work within the company, one of the reasons Tesla has been continually pushing back production targets for the Model 3 sedan.

“Tesla makes many of its auto parts, including car seats, which big automakers usually farm out to specialists.”

Judging based on the acquisition of Perbix, it seems very likely that the move away from sourcing out parts production at Tesla will intensify over the coming years.

Tesla does now have one statement about Perbix on its website:

“With the acquisition of PERBIX, Tesla further advances its efforts to turn the factory itself into a product – to build the machine that makes the machine.

“Founded in 1976, PERBIX, now a part of Tesla, designs, builds and services highly-automated, high-volume manufacturing machinery that will help Tesla accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

Note: We were a bit late covering this story due to so much other news, but we felt it’s quite important for tracking Tesla’s vertical integration and continuing to theorize what that means for the company and the industry.


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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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