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Where are the world's idled automobile factories?

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by AudubonB, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Tesla Motors' acquisition of the NUMMI plant surely ranks as one of the great manufacturing scoops of all time. There are, however, any number of automobile plants throughout the world that either have or soon will cease operations. Am opening this thread as a way for those who know of one or several in his/her neighborhood/country/ken to share as much knowledge as practical.

    * I haven't learned the history of Tesla's Tilburg plant - as far as I can tell, it did not have a prior life putting out DAFs, although I think DAF did manufacture in Tilburg. Perhaps some of our Dutch forum members know. I read that its footprint totals 18,900 sq.m., or 200,000 sq.ft. The second facility of Tesla's in Tilburg is cited at 49,000 sq.m, or 525,000 sq.ft.

    * In Australia, Holden (GM's Aus. operations) has closed its auto plant at Elizabeth, SA. All I have learned from it is that its near-present-day maximum output was 180,000 vehicles and that some 1,900 workers lost their jobs when it shuttered last year.

    * The gargantuan Packard factory in Detroit is a no-start. Too many decades of decay means it's better off as a bombing range.

    Others - anywhere?
     
  2. 30seconds

    30seconds Active Member

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    What happened with the Saab plants?
     
  3. kp.sfo

    kp.sfo Member

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  4. Svenssons

    Svenssons Member

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    The highways and other infrastructure to Trollhättan have just been built to help the plant. It was asked for by SAAB long before it went bankrupt. The plant and much of the manpower and skill are still available. Don't think NEVS will make any electrical cars either.
     
  5. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

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    #5 RobStark, Feb 17, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
    Indian Conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra is negotiating with Aerospace/Defense company SAAB AB regarding the right to use SAAB brand for the automotive sector. If they reach a deal M&M will buy NEVS/SAAB including the factory.

    Toyota-GM-Ford are leaving Australia due to cost of doing business. All the legacy OEMs believe cost, particularly wages, are too high to manufacture profitably in Australia. After Toyota shuts down there will be no auto manufacturing in Australia.

    Tilburg is just an assembly plant to bypass EU 10% tariff which may be going away in new EU-USA trade deal anyway.


    Ford's Genk factory in Belgium just closed last year and is said to have a capacity of 350k units per year.


    Tesla was rumored to be looking at Slovakia for an auto plant last year. Slovakia had virtually no auto sector during Communist era but now manufactures close to 1M vehicles per year in plants made since the fall of Communism.


    BTW At first Tesla looked at abandoned buildings for the Gigafactory but concluded building new was the way to go. Finding a sweet deal on the $1B Fremont factory for $50M might be a one time bargain.

    GM's Doraville Plant (700k units/year capacity) outside Atlanta Georgia IMO would be ideal if GM was willing to part with it for good price. None of the land the factory sits on has be redeveloped and still has rail access. But I don't think GM is willing to sell Tesla the rope to hang the ICEv industry with.
    '
     
  6. JakeP

    JakeP S P4996 / X P6028

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    GM's Lordstown Plant just outside of Youngstown is constantly in and out of the news as they discontinue the models that are built there (Chevy Cruze being the latest). I recall an interesting comment made a while back by Elon that the F150 competitor might be built elsewhere, and that Ohio was a possible site. I immediately thought of the often-troubled Lordstown plant as a candidate.
     
  7. Clprenz

    Clprenz Member

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    #7 Clprenz, Feb 17, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
  8. 30seconds

    30seconds Active Member

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    What's the advantage of getting an old automotive plant? I would assume that Tesla now knows exactly what equipment and layout they want for efficiency & quality vs. adapting the NUMI plant. Why not any old plant that is large and well serviced/ connected?
     
  9. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

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    Old automotive plant might be a lot cheaper than new.

    Any old plant is usually not large enough to build 500k plus cars per year, with the interior room for automotive assembly lines and paint booths, and high enough for automotive presses etc and connected to rail lines.

    What other plants do you think would work?

    The old massive steel mills are not suitable.

    - - - Updated - - -

    1) Too small
    2) As noted above, currently in the middle of being purchased by Mahindra & Mahindra.
    3) 30% smaller capacity than Fremont but maybe appropriate for Europe. Maybe Belgian labor is too expensive.
     
  10. Matias

    Matias Active Member

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    #10 Matias, Feb 18, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
    http://www.valmet-automotive.com/automotive/cms.nsf/pages/indexeng

    They are a contract manufacturer at the moment but i've read parent company would like to sell the plant.

    They have manufactured cars for Saab, PSA Chrysler, EuroLada, General Motors, Porsche AG, Garia, THINK Global, Fisker Automotive and Daimler AG. Currently they make Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

    http://www.valmet-automotive.com/automotive/bulletin.nsf/pbic/20150122023

    http://www.valmet-automotive.com/automotive/cms.nsf/www/manufacturing
     
  11. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

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    Valmet has a one shift capacity for 30k vehicles.

    Working 24/7 they can build 100k units.


    Way too small.
     
  12. Benz

    Benz Active Member

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    First choise would have to be a total new factory, designed from the ground up, exactly the way Tesla would want it to be. With enough room for future expansion(s). The extra investment will be worth it.
     
  13. voyager

    voyager Member

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    Plenty of underused car plants all over the globe. It's the challenge to find the ones that are still modern enough to fit the bill. Usually car manufacturers strip the place when they leave. Labor costs and unions are important too of course. Not too many people know that Belgian autoworkers are even more expensive than German. The Dutch, flexible as ever, did something very interesting. No need for a car brand to feel responsible for running a car plant or even its autoworkers. The car plant itself is run by an independent contractor that came to an agreement with the government to take over the plant and with the unions how to hire workers on a more flexible basis. That's NedCar I'm talking about. BMW is already producing Mini's there. There is still room to accommodate another automaker.
     

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