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NUMMI
Fate Sold to Tesla Motors
Predecessor Fremont Assembly 1960-1982
Successor Tesla Factory
Founded 1984 (1984)
Defunct 2010
Headquarters Fremont, California, United States
Coordinates: 37°29′41.12″N 121°56′41.16″W / 37.4947556°N 121.9447667°W / 37.4947556; -121.9447667
Industry Automotive industry
Products sub compact cars and trucks; electric cars
Services Automotive manufacturing
Owner(s) General Motors and Toyota (1984–2010); Tesla Motors (2010-)
Website Archived home page

New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) was an automobile manufacturing plant in Fremont, California, opened in 1984 and closed in 2010. On October 27, 2010 it reopened as a 100% Tesla Motors-owned production facility, known as the Tesla Factory.[1] The plant is located in the East Industrial area of Fremont between Interstates 880 and 680.

OverviewEdit

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The NUMMI plant in Fremont, California.

NUMMI was established at the site of a former General Motors Fremont Assembly site that had been closed two years earlier in 1982 (GM plant since 1960). GM and Toyota reopened the factory as a joint venture in 1984 to manufacture vehicles to be sold under both brands.[2] GM pulled out of the venture in June 2009, and several months later Toyota announced plans to pull out by March 2010.[3][4] At 9.40am on April 1, 2010, the plant produced its last car, a red Toyota Corolla S believed to be destined for a museum in Japan. Production of Corollas in North America has been moved to Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada's assembly plant in Cambridge, Ontario.

GM saw the joint venture as an opportunity to learn about lean manufacturing from the Japanese company, while Toyota gained its first manufacturing base in North America and a chance to implement its production system in an American labor environment. Up to May 2010, NUMMI built an average of 6000 vehicles a week, or nearly eight million cars and trucks.[5][6]

On May 20, 2010, it was announced that Tesla Motors purchased[7] a part in the NUMMI plant and will be collaborating with Toyota on the "development of electric vehicles, parts, and production system and engineering support". The plant will first be used to produce the Tesla Model S sedan with "future vehicles" following in the coming years. The plant will be producing 20,000 vehicles a year and employ 1000 workers to start.[8]

FacilityEdit

The plant spans the equivalent of about 88 football fields, and is configured into a main building that does the final assembly of vehicles and five other facilities:

  • Plastics facility fabricating bumpers, instrument panels, interior panels, and others;
  • Stamping facility that fabricates all visible sheet metal parts;
  • Welding facility that assembles all metallic parts into one rigid unit; and
  • Two paint facilities, one for passenger vehicles and another for truck cabs.

EmployeesEdit

Until the facility's closure in April 2010, 4,700 workers were employed.[9] NUMMI employees were represented by The International, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) Local 2244.

Models producedEdit

The first model NUMMI produced was the Chevrolet Nova (1984–1988). This was followed by the Geo Prizm (1989–1997), the Chevrolet Prizm (1998–2002) and the Hilux (1991–1995, predecessor of the Tacoma), as well as the Toyota Voltz, the Japanese right-hand drive version of the Pontiac Vibe. Both of the latter are based on the Toyota Matrix.

Production of the Pontiac Vibe hatchback was discontinued in August 2009 as GM phased out the Pontiac brand.[10]

Beginning in September 1988, the NUMMI plant produced the Toyota Corolla compact car. In 1995, it began producing the Toyota Tacoma pickup truck.

HistoryEdit

BackgroundEdit

The factory which NUMMI took over was built by General Motors and operated by them from 1962 to 1982.[2] The idea of reopening the plant emerged out of the need that GM had to build high-quality and profitable small cars and the need Toyota had to start building cars in the United States, a requirement due to the possibility of import restrictions by the U.S. Congress.[5][6]

The choice of the Fremont plant and its workers was unusual. At the time of its closure, the Fremont employees were "considered the worst workforce in the automobile industry in the United States", according to the United Auto Workers.[5][6] Employees drank alcohol on the job, were frequently absent (enough so that the production line couldn't be started), and even committed petty acts of sabotage such as putting "Coke bottles inside the door panels, so they'd rattle and annoy the customer."[5][6] In spite of the history and reputation, when NUMMI reopened the factory for production in 1984, most of the troublesome GM workforce was rehired, with some sent to Japan to learn the Toyota Production System.[5][6] Workers who made the transition identified the emphasis on quality and teamwork by Toyota management as what motivated a change in work ethic.[5][6]

By December 1984, the first car, a yellow Chevrolet Nova rolled off the assembly line. And almost right away, the NUMMI factory was producing cars with as few defects per 100 vehicles as those produced in Japan.[5][6] But 15 years later, GM had still not been able to implement lean manufacturing in the rest of the United States, though GM managers trained at NUMMI were successful in introducing the approach to its unionized factories in Brazil.[11]

Events as closure approachedEdit

Daily tours of the plant, offered free to the public, were ended on February 27, 2009.[12][13]

On June 29, 2009, General Motors announced that they would discontinue the joint venture with Toyota.[14] The announcement was made following GM CEO Fritz Henderson announcing in April that General Motors would discontinue the Pontiac Vibe production at NUMMI. The two automakers were in discussions but could not find a suitable product to be produced at the factory. “After extensive analysis, GM and Toyota could not reach an agreement on a future product plan that made sense for all parties,” GM North America President Troy Clarke said in a statement. "Toyota’s hope was to continue the venture and we haven’t yet decided any plans at the factory,” said Hideaki Homma, Toyota’s Tokyo-based spokesman. “While we respect this decision by GM, the economic and business environment surrounding Toyota is also extremely severe, and so this decision by GM makes the situation even more difficult for Toyota.” Before GM decided to sever its stake in the NUMMI joint venture, Toyota was considering offering a version of its Prius hybrid to GM that would be built at the factory and sold as a GM model but Toyota has indicated that it was seriously considering exiting the venture also.[15][16]

On August 27, 2009, Toyota announced that it would discontinue its production contract with NUMMI, shifting Tacoma production to its San Antonio, Texas pickup plant and Corolla assembly to Cambridge, Ontario. A total of 5,400 employees will be affected, including 4,550 UAW hourly workers.[17]

In November 2009, Toyota's head of U.S. sales took calls from autoworkers, saying that though it has been a difficult decision to shut down the plant, "the economics of having a plant in California so far away from the supplier lines" in the Midwest "just doesn't make business sense" for Toyota to continue running the NUMMI plant.[18] Meanwhile, autoworkers are preparing for the shut down by refreshing skills and planning for career transitions.[19] Federal, state, and local officials are also participating in the transition discussions.[20]

Future of the land and facilityEdit

In January 2010, a possible use of the land was proposed: a new stadium for home games of the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball. It is close to the proposed site of Cisco Field, which was never formally approved.[21]

A regional committee was formed in February 2010 to investigate the closure of the plant.[22]

On March 10, 2010, Aurica Motors announced a proposal to save the NUMMI automotive plant and the jobs associated with it. The company said that it intended to raise investment capital and garner federal economic stimulus funds to help retrain the workers and retool the facility for production of electrical vehicles.[23][24]

The NUMMI plant ceased operations on April 1, 2010 ending the Toyota-GM joint venture. California's last automobile manufacturing plant saw its last car, a red Toyota Corolla, roll off the assembly line.[25]

On May 20, 2010, Tesla Motors and Toyota announced a partnership to work on electric vehicle development, which included Tesla's partial purchase of the former NUMMI site, mainly consisting of the factory building.[7][9] Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the Tesla S sedan will be built at the plant.[26]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

Smallwikipedialogo This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at NUMMI. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons by Attribution License and/or GNU Free Documentation License. Please check page history for when the original article was copied to Wikia

  1. Sibley, Lisa (October 27, 2010). "Tesla officially replaces NUMMI in Fremont". 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "NUMMI Milestones". Retrieved on 2009-07-13.[dead link]
  3. Ken Thomas (2009-08-28). "Toyota plans to end production at Calif. plant". Google News. Retrieved on 2009-08-29.
  4. }}Abate, Tom (2009-08-28). "Toyota closing Fremont Nummi plant", SFGate. Retrieved on 2009-08-29. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 "The End Of The Line For GM-Toyota Joint Venture". All Things Considered. National Public Radio (March 26, 2010). Retrieved on 2010-04-07.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 "Episode 403 - NUMMI". This American Life (March 26, 2010). Retrieved on 2010-04-07.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Lindsay Riddell (May 20, 2010). "Tesla to buy NUMMI plant, build cars with Toyota", San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved on 2010-05-21. 
  8. "Tesla lands sudden deal with Toyota, will build Model S sedan in Fremont NUMMI plant". Engadget. Retrieved on 2010-12-21.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Tesla Wants NUMMI Operational By 2012 KVTU.com, 21 May 2010. Retrieved: 22 May 2010
  10. "General Motors Statement Regarding Discontinuation of Pontiac Vibe Production at NUMMI Facility". Retrieved on 2009-06-20.[dead link]
  11. Bradsher, Keith (June 17, 1998). "G.M.'s Plant in Brazil Raises Fears Closer to Home", The New York Times. Retrieved on 2010-04-07. 
  12. "Nummi Tours Appointments". Retrieved on 2009-06-20.
  13. "Nummi Tours". Retrieved on 2009-06-20.[dead link]
  14. "GM ends 25-yr-old joint venture with Toyota to build cars, trucks at Calif. plant", Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2009-06-30. [dead link]
  15. Kim, Soyoung (2009-07-10). "UPDATE 1-Toyota may drop U.S. joint venture with GM", Reuters. Retrieved on 2009-07-13. 
  16. Naoko Fujimura, Tetsuya Komatsu (2009-07-11). "Toyota May Dissolve California Plant Venture Abandoned by GM". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved on 2009-07-13.
  17. Alan Ohnsman and Kae Inoue (2009-08-28). "Toyota Will Shut California Plant in First Closure". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved on 2009-08-29.
  18. Mark Matthews (2009-11-17). "Toyota sales head talks about NUMMI closure". abclocal.go.com/kgo. Retrieved on 2009-11-22.
  19. George Avalos (2009-11-16). "NUMMI auto factory closing: End of the line". contracostatimes.com. Retrieved on 2009-11-22.
  20. Tom Abate (2009-11-14). "A huddle to help Nummi workers find new jobs", sfgate.com. Retrieved on 2009-11-22. 
  21. Carolyn Jones (2010-01-09). "Fremont's new pitch: A's stadium at Nummi site", sfgate.com. Retrieved on 2010-01-15. 
  22. "Toyota's Proposed Plant Shutdown to Be Scrutinized by Panel of California Leaders" (2010-02-24). Retrieved on 2010-03-02.
  23. "Aurica Motors Announces Plan to Keep NUMMI Plant Open by Manufacturing Electric Cars" (Word document). Aurica Motors (2010-03-10). Retrieved on 2010-04-02.
  24. "Auto firm setting sights on NUMMI". The Oakland Tribune (2010-03-10). Retrieved on 2010-04-02.
  25. "NUMMI Plant Closure Ends Toyota-GM Venture" (2010-03-31). Retrieved on 2010-03-31.
  26. Tierney, Christine. Toyota invests in Tesla to help reopen Calif. plant The Detroit News, 20 May 2010. Retrieved: 22 May 2010

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 37°29′41.12″N 121°56′41.16″W / 37.4947556°N 121.9447667°W / 37.4947556; -121.9447667

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