Tesla Motors is headhunting engineers from Mexico to work on automated equipment at its Freemont, California factory. While the brand can still call the forthcoming Model 3 “the most American” car in the worldÂ â€” once it takes delivery of Nevada-producedÂ 2170 battery packs â€” it might not be able to make the same claim for its workforce.
The brand has hadÂ union troubles with the German robotics unit supplyingÂ the automated assembly lines essential for the Model 3’s timely production. While the recruitment effort in California may not be a direct response to that, it is definitely part of Tesla’s efforts to ensure it can adhere to the timetable it has set for the electric vehicle. The company has preorders out the wazoo and wants to build 500,000 cars a year at the Fremont plant by 2018, which requires aÂ sextupling of 2016’s production figures.Â
Obviously, the production upsurge would be impossible without added man hours. According to postings on LinkedIn found by Reuters, Tesla’s hiring push in California has expanded beyond the confines of the U.S. border.Â ItemsÂ posted by Tesla’s senior technical recruiter, David Johnson, listed 15 types of engineers the company hopes to find during a May 5-8 recruiting event in Monterrey, Mexico. Johnson specifically wrote that he was interested in interviewing engineers with experience in body in white manufacturing.
Another Tesla employee, Dominik Knapp, also posted about the event on his LinkedIn page sayingÂ “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!” Knapp also referenced the successful recruitment drive Tesla held in Mexico City last year in a response to interested parties.
While there will be some speculation that Tesla’s outsourcing of engineers is down to cost-saving measures,Â president of SAE InternationalÂ Doug Patton claims there really is an absence of adequate engineering talent in the industry. “There are many more jobs than engineers, this is an engineering problem across the board,” he said.
Patton went on to explain, while automakers and suppliers routinely seek help from their Mexican plants on a short-term basis, he was unaware of any company recruiting on the same “wholesale basis” as Tesla appears to be. However, we don’t know how lengthy an engagement the manufacturer has planned. Tesla has yet to respond to any request for comment on its Mexican hiring plan.[Image: Tesla]