As part of its extensive downsizing, General Motors ended its 25 year partnership with Toyota last year which shut down the last auto assembly line on the West Coast -- the NUMMI plant in Fremont, CA, located across the bay from San Francisco -- resulting in the loss of over 4,700 jobs.

Late breaking news this afternoon is that Tesla Motors and Toyota Motor Corp will team up to produce the next generation of electric cars, and that they'll build them at this former General Motors-Toyota plant.

Mercedes-Benz and Toyota have called Tesla's electric vehicle technology the best in the world, and the new partnership with Toyota will allow for Tesla to begin building their new all-electric 7-seater Sedan (estimated price at $50,000) in this plant, along with a sub $30,000 all-electric car -- which will most likely feature Toyota design along with Tesla's electric vehicle technology -- to compete with the anticipated lower-cost all electric vehicles due on the market in the near future.

Tesla has clearly moved the bar forward and has forced major auto makers to design and produce their own versions of all-electric vehicles, including Nissan, whose LEAF will appear later this fall, and GM, whose Chevrolet VOLT (though not a totally all-electric car) should be out by next year.

NOTE: From the Tesla website today, after the big announcement...

"Tesla's goal is to produce increasingly affordable electric cars to mainstream buyers – relentlessly driving down the cost of EVs. Palo Alto, CA-based Tesla has delivered more than 1000 Roadsters to customers in North America, Europe and Asia. Tesla designs and manufactures EVs and EV powertrain components. It is currently the only automaker in the U.S. that builds and sells highway-capable EVs in serial production. The Tesla Roadster accelerates faster than most sports cars yet produces no emissions. Tesla service rangers make house calls to service Roadsters."


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