A Peek Inside The Soon-To-Be-Dead Tesla Motors Detroit Office

Illustration for article titled A Peek Inside The Soon-To-Be-Dead Tesla Motors Detroit Office

Given the situation with Tesla Motors lately, you know, Ze'ev Drori getting the boot and Elon Musk taking the reins as CEO, word of firings of "25-30% of their total staff of 300 employees and contractors" and the closing of the Detroit location (more accurately, the Metro Detroit suburb of Rochester Hills, MI) via blog post, it's no wonder an anonymous reader decided to head out to their Rochester Hills office and take a look. The Rochester Hills facility was opened at the end of January 2007, and was to be the development facility for the Tesla Model S electric sedan, so the closing is a foreboding indicator of the future direction Tesla is heading on that project. Let's take a look inside this essentially doomed location...
To be fair, these pics were taken this past Sunday, so it's poor evidence the place is in fact a ghost town but let's just say a tumbleweed rolling through the parking lot wouldn't be out of place. Aside from the fancy sign out front and the etched glass doors, it looks like every other sparsely decorated suburban office we've ever seen. We love the reading materials in the lobby — all the buff books, plus Vanity Fair, a book on classic cars, The Toyota Way and its wonderful explanation of "lean manufacturing" and the Toyota Production System (may we also recommend Machine That Changed The World and the End of Detroit). TPS, as you know, is the management process where a company welcomes questions and seeks to solve problems via all manner of available help. Openness and communication is key with TPS. Hmm, maybe they only got through the first couple of chapters. Hilariously, our two favorite books laying around have to be the Tesla bio on the waiting room table sitting across from The Car That Could, a book about the life and death of GM's EV1. We'll let you draw your own conclusions from that one.


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It was the one-speed tranny that did 'em in. Everybody knows you ain't gonna ride a one-trick pony to heaven. Especially when static cling gets going bad this winter. And don't tell me they are well grounded, because those batteries are lithium. And that metal is so light it floats. Not touching the ground at all. The only superior material is high pressure Xenon. It'll work all day no matter how hard you make the job. Not like the mall rats they got in this here Tesla Bus Works. Damn mall rats...