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Tesla’s acquisition of a battery assembly company opens new horizons in Germany

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Friday: A toast was celebrated at the battery assembly company in Neuwied/Germany named ATW. This became possible because Tesla came to its rescue when the firm lost contracts with key automotive clients Daimler and BMW.

According to a local newspaper Rhein Zeitung’s website, negotiations between Tesla and ATW began in early September and now the acquisition is in final stages. This acquisition will save the jobs of 210 existing ATW employees and the growth of the company in the near future is highly likely as it will not have to look for new businesses, assembling battery packs for Tesla will be a big task itself.

ATW is a subsidiary f the Canadian automation engineering firm ATS (Automation Tooling Systems Inc. ATA/TSE). A press-release by ATS from late September says the following about this deal:

Cambridge, Ontario (September 25, 2020): ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (TSX:ATA) (“ATS” or the “Company”), an industry-leading automation solutions provider, today announced that as part of its previously announced plan to reorganize its Transportation business, it has entered into a conditional agreement to sell certain assets and transfer employees of one of its German-based subsidiaries to a third party.

Completion of the sale is subject to several closing conditions. If the transaction does close, it is expected to partially mitigate costs of the previously announced reorganization of its transportation business. Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

ATS Press-Release

But according to the German news magazine The European, the deal is almost final and the acquisition is very imminent.

In the Battery Day presentation, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and SVP Powertrain and Energy Engineering Drew Baglino showed the new 4680 cell assembly line at the Tesla Fremont factory. This new pilot project is a large testbed of a high-speed continuous motion assembly line. This philosophy comes from the high-speed bottle manufacturing seen in the beverage industry.

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1 line of High-Speed Continuous Motion Assembly can produce 7X more cells and 20 GWh of energy storage compared to the traditional cell assembly systems.

The experience gained at the Tesla Fremont factory’s beta-cell manufacturing can be transferred to ATW’s already skilled engineers at battery assembly automation. This will enable Tesla to locally assemble battery packs in Germany for cars made a the Gigafactory Berlin next year, resulting in even faster car production and deliveries.

ATW is the third in a series of German engineering firm acquisitions by Tesla. The first one was Grohman Engineering GmbH in 2017 which later became Tesla Grohman Automation GmbH.

The 2nd company was last year’s Tesla acquisition of Maxwell Technologies GmbH that is in existing since 1903 involved in ultracapacitor and supercapacitor R&D and production.

Coupled with the new battery technology research unveiled at Battery Day, the acquisition of ATW’s talent pool and skills will definitely an edge to Tesla over competitors in the European electric vehicle market.

With the giant Giga Casting machines planned at Giga Berlin and 7x faster 4680 cell production, the Tesla Model Y production in Germany should worry the local automotive giants like VW, BMW, and Daimler — perhaps they are worried but trying to portray all is well — but it isn’t for them.

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By Iqtidar Ali

Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on XAutoWorld.com, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere.

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