As part of a hiring push to ready the plant for mass production of the upcoming Model 3, Tesla Inc is recruiting engineers from Mexico to work on robotics and other automated equipment at its California factory, according to LinkedIn postings.
The electric vehicle maker aims to build 500,000 cars a year by 2018 at its plant in Fremont, California, south of San Francisco and the company prides itself on its “Made in America” credentials.
15 types of engineers the company would be seeking at a May 5-8 recruiting event in Monterrey, Mexico, were listed at a recruiting poster published on LinkedIn by Tesla’s senior technical recruiter, David Johnson.
There were no comments offered by Tesla to request by the media for comment on its Mexico hiring plans.
In order to accelerate production and save money as it readies for volume production of the Model 3 in September, the Silicon Valley carmaker is under the gun. The high hopes for the mass-market vehicle have helped push Tesla shares up 47 percent since January and the company’s future profitability hinges on its success.
With 19 automotive plants owned by global automakers including General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Volkswagen, Mexico boasts a substantial pool of educated manufacturing engineers.
He hoped to interview manufacturing and mechanical engineers with experience in “Body in White” (BIW) manufacturing, Tesla’s Johnson wrote in a post. That is a particular stage in the assembly line in which sheets of metal components are jointed together by welding in order to make up the outer frame of the car.
“Check this out if you are interested to work with the most complex and automated equipment in our Fremont plant! We are looking for controls, robotic and weld engineers!” posted another Tesla employee, Dominik Knapp, on his LinkedIn page.
For assembly-line jobs at the Fremont plant, Tesla has been actively hiring in the past few months. However, since they are in even shorter supply than software engineers in Silicon Valley, it is a tougher challenge to finding manufacturing engineers for the company.
Tesla’s search for engineers in Mexico underscored a dearth of talent in the industry, said Doug Patton, president of SAE International, a professional association of automotive engineers headquartered in Pennsylvania.
“There are many more jobs than engineers, this is an engineering problem across the board,” he said.
Patton said he had not heard of any company recruiting on a “wholesale basis” as Tesla appeared to be doing even though U.S. automakers and suppliers will sometimes bring employees from Mexican plants to the United States for short-term assignments.
Having been involved in the launch of Audi’s high-tech plant in Puebla, Tesla’s vice president of production, Peter Hochholdinger, has experience in Mexico.
(Adapted from Reuters)