This was brought up by Theshadows and briefly discussed in the ST movements thread (Short-Term TSLA Price Movements - 2014 - Page 354), but I'm starting a new thread because I think this is a significant development and worth discussing its implications more thoroughly. Here's what we know. 1. Tesla appears to have started renovations on a 431,000 sqft facility in Lathrop, CA (near Manteca/Stockton area) The main articles is http://www.mantecabulletin.com/m/section/1/article/103892/ . Here are some notable sections:"The city confirmed on Monday that Tesla Motors – the Palo Alto-based company responsible for a direct manufacturer-to-buyer approach to car sales and a reimagining of what electric cars can be – has taken out permits and started renovations on the 431,000-square-foot vacant Daimler-Chrysler distribution facility that faces Interstate 5." "According to City Manager Steve Salvatore, the permits were for “manufacturing modifications” and that work has already begun on overhauling the existing facility." "Information about the number of jobs that the facility would create and exactly which part of the manufacturing process – the company makes vehicles as well as electric vehicle powertrain components for other automotive companies – would be in Lathrop there was not immediately available through a communications agent for the company." "Daimler Chrysler’s Mopar distribution facility – which sent Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram and at that time Mercedes Benz components to warehouses, parts distributors and auto dealerships around the West Coast – was one of the anchor components of the Crossroads Commerce Center. The building has sat vacant since 2009 when Chrysler combined its small parts distribution in Los Angeles and Portland." "The 29-acre complex at 18260 Harlan Road where Tesla is locating can accommodate a 125,000-square-foot expansion." "Chrysler’s Mopar parts division originally planned on 225 people for the Lathrop facility when it opened in 2001. That’s because the plan at the time was to merge Chrysler with Mercedes Benz. But when that union went south, the distribution center that is large enough to accommodate nine football fields became surplus capacity. Chrysler never utilized more than 50 percent of the space. There were 45 employees at Lathrop when the distribution center closed in 2009." 2. Tesla is recruiting people mainly for CNC positions for the Lathrop facility. According to Tesla's Career page (Careers | Tesla Motors and search for Lathrop under location), Tesla is currently recruiting 32 positions for the Lathrop facility:CNC Equipment Engineering Technician - Lathrop CA (14 positions) - job description as of 4/22/14 CNC Supervisor - Lathrop CA (3 positions) - job description as of 4/22/14 IT Manufacturing Support (1 position) - job description as of 4/22/14 Machining Set Up Technician (6 positions) - job description as of 4/22/14 Maintenance Spares Planner - Lathrop CA (1 position) - job description as of 4/22/14 Manufacturing Training Coordinator (1 position) - job description as of 4/22/14 Mechanical Engineer/Machining - Lathrop CA (3 positions) - job description as of 4/22/14 Robotics and Controls/CNC Engineer - Lathrop CA (3 positions) - job description as of 4/22/14 3. In Tesla's job descriptions for the Lathrop facility, we find some more clues. a. There will be a manufacturing line. "Perform process sustaining for the CNC manufacturing line in Lathrop, CA." (CNC Equipment Engineering Technician) "We are looking for a highly motivated individual to support manufacturing training needs and build a strong and capable work station trainers team. The Manufacturing Training Specialist will be responsible for ensuring that new and current employees are trained per the Tesla 5-Star Training and Certification System. Manage the implementation, administration and maintenance of the training matrix." (Manufacturing Training Specialist, Machining (CNC) b. This will be a machining factory. "We are looking for a Mechanical Engineer/Machinist to join our Equipment Engineering team for our CNC Machining factory in Lathrop, CA." (Mechanical Engineer/Machining) "We are looking for a Robotics and Controls Engineer to join our Equipment Engineering team for our CNC Machining factory in Lathrop, CA." (Robotics and Controls/CNC Engineer) c. 2 shifts are planned. "The Production Associate is a member of the Manufacturing Production Team. Location is Lathrop CA. CNC Operator for 12:00 to 12:00 shift . This is a 3 day / 4 day work shift (Sunday, Monday Tuesday or every other Wednesday, OR, Thursday, Friday Saturday and every other Wednesday). He/she will participate in the development and application of Tesla’s Production System for CNC Machining of the Tesla Model S." (CNC Supervisor) Here are some observations and questions I'd like to pose for discussion: 1. Why now? Tesla is recruiting and filling positions now. This likely means that the manufacturing line at Lathrop will go into production sooner than later. What's the rush? 2. What will they be manufacturing? There appears to be a lot of CNC positions. CNC machines cut and shape metals. But most of the body is stamped/pressed at the Fremont factory. So, it would appear that they would be manufacturing some non-body metal parts, perhaps the motor or inverter or parts of the powertrain. 3. Why can't they use existing space at the Fremont factory? The Fremont factory still has a lot of non-used space. So, the question is why would Tesla expand into another facility (albeit much smaller) to expand manufacturing? 4. Does the Lathrop facility have any connection to the Gigafactory? If Tesla chooses Reno as the gigafactory location, then Lathrop does sit somewhere in between the Gigafactory and the Fremont factory. However, the Gigafactory won't be up and running for another few years and Tesla is already recruiting positions in Lathrop. 5. All in all, it seems like a bold, bullish move by Tesla.