2011 Detroit Auto Show: Akio Toyoda Checks In On Tesla Model S

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What do you do when the president of the world's number-one global auto producer stops by your stand? Give him the tour around the car that you're planning to assemble in his former factory, of course.

By chance we were hanging around the Tesla stand at the 2011 Detroit auto show when Akio Toyoda (and an entourage of several) walked up and started sizing up the Model S—shown in 'body-in-white,' structurally exposed form for the first time at Detroit. Tesla engineers jumped to the task, showing him through noteworthy structural points.

However, it's not as if Toyota and Tesla aren't already friendly. Toyota is using Tesla's powertrain technology for its RAV4 Electric demonstration model, and the major automaker also owns a small share of Tesla.

The 2013 Tesla model S is slated to be produced at the side of the former Toyota/GM NUMMI joint-venture facility in Fremont, California, beginning in 2012, as a 2013 model. Tesla plans to build about 20,000 Model S sedans per year, with a price of $57,400. 

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Comments (5)
  1. I love that he took time out to view Tesla's display. Toyota does own part of Tesla, but that is quite a plug (no pun intended) to make a personal visit. I bet Musk wishes he had been there, but I am sure his people did a good job.

  2. I'm happy to see Tesla displaying the underpinnings of the Model S. They are really showing good progress towards production. And to have Toyota's top man take time to personally look over Tesla's booth speaks loudly of how well they're doing.

  3. I am very impressed with how Tesla has quickly become a respected player in the automotive industry. They could easily build a core business building battery packs for 2/3 of all plug-in electric vehicles brought to market. What a great way to fund their own autos. Awesome!

  4. Your headline and URL both talk about the "Testa."
    Come on, guys. Basic proofreading.

  5. Most automakers who are serious about manufacturing electric vehicles will produce their own battery packs. Toyota is still "testing" all electric vehicles, and even its plug-in hybrids are still a year away. Toyota needs to move forward and not rest on its Prius.

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