Tesla could buy GM's shuttered plants, Elon Musk says

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the electric-car marker will consider buying one of the factories General Motors will shut down as part of its divisive restructuring plan.

GM disclosed last month that it would shutter several assembly plants in North America by 2019 and end production of six car models in a bid to cut costs and better position the company to focus on electric and autonomous vehicles. The move, which is expected to result in roughly 15,000 layoffs, drew sharp criticism from President Trump and lawmakers in states affected by the layoffs.

With Tesla in the midst of ramping up production of its flagship Model 3 sedan, Musk told CBS “60 Minutes” that his firm would consider acquiring one of GM’s facilities.

“It’s possible that we would be interested, if they were going to sell a plant or not use it, that we would take it over,” Musk said during an appearance on CBS “60 Minutes.”

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.

It wouldn’t be the first time that Tesla has purchased another car company’s shuttered factory. Musk’s firm previously bought a plant jointly owned by General Motors and Toyota for $42 million in 2010, electric-car blog Electrek reported. The plant is now one of Tesla’s main production facilities.

GM CEO Mary Barra said the restructuring plan will save the venerable automaker $4.5 billion by 2020. Facing criticism on Capitol Hill, Barra said GM would keep an “open mind” about the future of an Ohio-based plant, Reuters reported.

Musk added that he welcomes competition from GM and other companies investing in electric-car technology.

“The whole point of Tesla is to accelerate the advent of electric vehicles…sustainable transport and trying to help the environment,” Musk said. “It’s the most serious problem that humanity faces.”