General Motors (GM) has reportedly acquired Tooling & Equipment International (TEI), a key supplier in Tesla’s gigacasting endeavors. The deal is estimated to be between $80 million to $100 million, according to a report from Reuters, which cited unnamed sources familiar with the deal.
TEI’s expertise lies in the fusion of 3D printing and sand casting, resulting in large one-piece automotive castings known as “gigacastings” in Tesla’s terminology or “megacastings” as per GM’s nomenclature. This technique has revolutionized the automotive industry, as it consolidates hundreds of parts in the subframes and platforms into a singular continuous pieces, allowing for significant cost savings and speedier development cycles.
GM’s interest in TEI is rooted in the desire to integrate their sandcasting methods into its own development and production processes after the company supplied castings for the Celestiq, GM’s EV flagship with an eye-watering MSRP of $340,000, reducing assembly components by an estimated 180 to 240 parts.
By incorporating TEI into its Global Manufacturing division, GM aspires to create a competitive advantage for future low-volume products and mirroring Tesla’s gigacasting expertise.
With GM’s acquisition, Tesla finds itself seeking alternatives, no longer having TEI as its primary domestic gigacasting partner. According to Reuters Tesla will now rely on overseas companies in Germany, Japan, and the UK for castings, temporarily disrupting its supply chain.