GM Quietly Joins Gigacasting Revolution with Strategic Acquisition of Key Tesla Supplier

UNITED STATES: In a strategic move aimed at revolutionizing its electric vehicle (EV) production, General Motors (GM) has silently entered the gigacasting arena by acquiring Tooling & Equipment International (TEI), a prominent sand-casting specialist and a key Tesla prototyping partner.

GM’s acquisition of TEI revealed in a recent Reuters report by Automotive News, signifies a crucial step toward reducing the production costs of their upcoming electric vehicles. TEI, renowned for its work with Tesla on gigacasting mould prototyping for models like the Model Y, Model 3, Cybertruck, and Semi, has significantly streamlined development processes, cutting development time and costs.

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The collaboration between TEI and Tesla, along with three other suppliers, resulted in a groundbreaking achievement for the EV giant – a 50% reduction in the time required to develop a car from three to four years down to a mere 24 months. This was achieved by utilizing casts made from industrial sand through 3D printing technology.

Since July 2023, TEI has seamlessly integrated into GM’s Global Manufacturing division, overseeing all automobile and parts manufacturing operations. GM’s move was prompted by a desire to enhance its portfolio of innovations and secure access to TEI’s unique casting technology, according to a statement from the American automaker.

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Gigacasting, a technique pioneered by Tesla and now adopted by GM, Toyota, Volvo, Ford, Hyundai, and others, involves creating fewer but larger metal components, reducing manufacturing complexity and costs. TEI’s expertise lies in creating sand moulds using digital design files and 3D printers, allowing for quick modifications and reprints at minimal cost compared to traditional casting techniques.

As legacy automakers follow in Tesla’s footsteps, the automotive landscape is witnessing a paradigm shift towards gigacasting, marking a new era in efficient and cost-effective EV production.

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