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Tesla Set To Take Over Operations At NUMMI

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The NUMMI Factory

The NUMMI Factory in Fremont (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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FREMONT (BCN) – A Fremont auto plant that began operating nearly 50 years ago will enter a new phase in its existence on Friday when it is taken over by Tesla Motors.

Tesla announced in May that it was buying the auto plant and would use it to build the new Model S, a fully electric four-door sedan, and other vehicles.

The Palo Alto-based company said its new production might create about 1,000 jobs at the Fremont facility.

A Tesla spokeswoman said Thursday that no ceremonies are planned when the company takes over on Friday. She said Tesla will issue a statement on the transition later Thursday.

Fremont Mayor Bob Wasserman said Thursday that having Tesla move in “is a good start” at replacing the jobs that were lost when NUMMI halted its operations.

Wasserman said it will take time to replace all the lost jobs but he hopes that eventually there will be more jobs at that site than there were before.

He said that would come about through a combination of more jobs at Tesla if the company is successful, and jobs that the city hopes to create by luring other companies to the former NUMMI site, as Tesla will only be using part of that property.

The plant, located off of Interstate Highway 880, was built by General Motors, which operated it from 1962 to 1982.

The plant reopened in 1984 and was a joint venture between GM and Toyota Motor Corp. that was called the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., or NUMMI.

But GM withdrew from the partnership last year and Toyota decided to close the plant on April 1, leaving 4,700 union employees out of work and affecting thousands of employees at suppliers around the state who relied on the auto plant for business.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

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