Musk shows interest in buying GM plants for Tesla | CTV News



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CTVNews.ca Staff

Published Sunday, December 9, 2018 11:49 AM EST

Last Updated on Sunday, December 9, 2018 11:53 AM EST

Elon Musk says he can buy General Motors plants that will close soon and start putting Teslas in them.

Musk made the remarks in an interview with CBS's "60 Minutes," saying he might be interested in buying some of the five facilities GM plans to stop using by the end of 2019.

A controversial figure known for making extravagant statements, Musk may, however, be serious about exploiting an interest in GM factories, according to one analyst.

"It's always hard to tell Elon. Sometimes he is discouraged and sometimes there is a really careful strategy behind it, "Will Mitchell, a professor of strategic management at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, told CTV News Channel Sunday.

In this case, Mitchell said, there could be seriousness in Musk's claims because Tesla is delivering more vehicles than ever before and running close to production limits at its factory in California.

"There is pent-up demand from Teslas and electric vehicles in general. They will need more production capacity, "he said.

One of the five GM closing facilities is the assembly plant in Oshawa, Ont.

Mitchell said there was a "very low" chance that Oshawa would be one of Tesla's expansion goals given the difficulties of cross-border manufacturing and other issues.

"It's a huge plant. They are not yet ready to reach this scale of production, "he said.

"Never say never, but it's unlikely."

In addition, Mitchell said, the Oshawa plant would need a significant overhaul to produce electric vehicles. GM had cited a company-wide move toward electric vehicles as one of the reasons it was abandoning Oshawa.

It is estimated that 2,500 jobs will be lost in Oshawa when GM stops operating in that city.

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