The German Federal Cartel Office has approved Tesla’s possible takeover of the company ATW (Assembly & Test Europe GmbH). The German company already produces battery assembly systems for clients such as BMW and Daimler/Accumotive or Volkswagen.
The proposition to buy the company was first announced at the beginning of October. According to a spokesperson for the Federal Cartel Office at the German Press Agency, dpa Tesla received the go-ahead from the competition authority for the acquisition of the plant manufacturer, which will be undertaken through a merger. The spokesperson did not provide any further details, and the two companies have not yet commented on the transaction.
To date, ATW has counted car manufacturers such as Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen among its customers. The company, which belongs to the Canadian company ATS Automation Tooling Systems, was actually highly profitable, but then got into financial difficulties due to the corona-related decline in orders and was already in liquidation. The Neuwied site in the German region of Rhineland-Palatinate was to be closed.
With the Tesla entry, the more than 200 threatened jobs in Neuwied could be preserved. It remains to be seen whether ATW will continue to accept orders from other car manufacturers after the merger with Tesla, but that is unlikely. When Tesla took over Grohmann Automation (now called: Tesla Grohmann Automation) in 2016, all third-party orders were terminated. Grohmann’s headquarters in Prüm is only 100 kilometres away from ATW in Neuwied.
At the Federal Cartel Office, the procedure was listed as “Tesla / Tesla Grohmann Automation / ATS / Assembly & Test Europe (ATW)”. This means it is still open as to whether Tesla itself or it’s subsidiary Grohmann will undertake the merger with ATW.
With the current expansion of production in Shanghai, Grünheide and Austin, ATW should not be short of work. ATW products and services include the development, design, manufacture, assembly and commissioning of production plants for the automotive industry as well as test systems for components and functional groups.
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