In Tesla’s 12-year history, the company has made only one acquisition: Riviera Tool, a Michigan-based auto supplier, which the electric car maker paid $10 million for in May.
But CEO Elon Musk told investors today (Nov. 3) that he’s open to other such acquisitions if they can help speed up the production of the Model 3, the company’s upcoming, $35,000 mass-market electric car. The Model 3 is incredibly important to Tesla, and the company has high hopes the vehicle will help broaden its customer base.
“Anything we can do to tighten that time frame organically, as an acquisition, is a good thing,” Musk said. “The crazy thing is that $10 million we spent acquiring Riviera was less than we spent expediting our stamping dies”—tools that cut and shape sheet metal—”so it’s like a no-brainer.”
Tesla is notorious for its product delays. The Model X, an electric SUV that the company finally delivered in September, missed its original deadline by two years. Ever the perfectionist, Musk has said that he’d rather “forgo revenue, rather than bring a product to market that does not delight customers,” as he explained in a 2014 shareholder letter.
Today he told investors that Tesla is working to produce the Model 3 “as soon as humanly possible.” In September, Musk said the mass-market car will be delivered in 2017. Leaked documents suggest the deadline already has been pushed to 2018, but Tesla has denied this.