Musk: Hiring ex-NUMMI workers is priority for Tesla and Toyota

Tesla Motors Co-founder, Chairman, CEO - Elon Musk

After Tesla Motor and Toyota Motor Corp. announced last week that they will take over the former NUMMI factory in Fremont, California, the United Auto Workers urged the two automakers to hire union workers.

While nothing was confirmed at the time of the announcement, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk recently said that “hiring former NUMMI workers is a priority” for the company. Musk, who answered the question during the taping of a Southern California public radio program, said that “It is always easier to hire from the neighborhood” than to recruit workers from out of the area.

Musk said that Tesla has already hired a number of people who had previously worked at the factory when it was jointly owned by General Motors and Toyota.

He said that the company anticipates 1,000 people to come back to work when it starts building the Tesla Model S sedan in 2012. When everything is up and pumping, employment at the plant should increase to nearly 5,000 workers, who will build both Tesla and Toyota’s smaller, more affordable electric-vehicles.

Toyota will purchase $50 million of Tesla”s common stock issued in a private placement.

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Source: Edmunds Green Car Advisor