The Model S takes shape with sheets of aluminum "placed in a hydraulic press machine and stamped into 3-dimensional fenders, hood panels, doors and roofs," according to Tesla. "Stamped aluminum saves about half the weight of steel and the decrease in weight enables us to increase overall vehicle efficiency."
The plant, purchased in 2010, is 5.3 million square feet. From 1984 to 2009, it housed New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., a joint venture between Toyota and General Motors that produced 500,000 cars per year. The Tesla factory produces about 100,000 cars per year.