Tesla Motors is acquiring one of its suppliers of stamped parts, Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Riviera Tool LLC, to help it bring tool building capabilities in-house for future business in both metal and plastics, the automaker confirmed today.
The deal comes as Tesla works to ramp up production of the luxury Model S electric sedan and its new luxury electric crossover, the Model X. The automaker is working to reach 55,000 deliveries in 2015 from its plant in Fremont, Calif.
“We are excited to have reached a deal with Riviera and have a presence in the state of Michigan and bring additional tool building capabilities in-house,” a Tesla spokeswoman said. “This acquisition will help us to build new stamping and plastic parts in a cost effective manner, support new metal forming technology development, and allow us to increase production as we introduce more models.”
The spokeswoman declined to provide other details or the price or terms of the acquisition.
Riviera Tool manufactures large-scale, custom metal stamping die systems used in the production of sheet metal parts and assemblies for the automotive industry. Its list of global customers includes Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Nissan, Daimler and BMW.
Tesla will acquire Riviera Tool and its 100 employees and eventually rename the operation Tesla Tool & Die. The automaker is expected to retain Riviera's staff while continuing to add jobs to the plant.
The acquisition marks Tesla's first manufacturing operation in Michigan. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said at the Automotive News World Congress in January that the automaker would be interested in manufacturing in Michigan. Automotive News is a sister publication of Plastics News.
“It's not out of the question,” Musk said. “Maybe Michigan shouldn't stop us from selling cars here. That would be a nice gesture.”
In October, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill into law that bars Tesla from selling its vehicles directly to consumers.
Through April, Tesla has made 14,794 deliveries, down 6 percent from the previous year period. On Wednesday, the automaker announced its net losses had tripled to $154 million in the first quarter of 2015 as it is investing in energy-storage batteries and preparing for the launch of the Model X SUV in the third quarter.