As the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to sweep the world off its feet, one German-based battery assembly company nearly fell to the ground. ATW (Assembly & Test Europe GmbH), a long-time battery supplier for reputable manufacturers such as BMW and Daimler were due for closure at the beginning of September.
In an announcement made by Udo Panenka, managing director of the parent company, the Canadian ATS group, the company was due to close following financial difficulties. These issues stemmed from a decline in battery orders during the worldwide pandemic, and nearly 210 highly skilled workers were due to lose their jobs. Given the economic situation worldwide, this may have come as a huge blow not only to the company but also to its staff members.
At the end of September, however, there were serious discussions regarding an acquisition that could save ATW from its impending bankruptcy. While the ATW management and works council declined to comment on the purchase, close sources revealed that the acquisitor was in fact American car manufacturer Tesla. Although there has been no official announcement of this takeover, a celebratory toast for this acquisition has reportedly already taken place by the ATW Neuwied site.
This acquisition meant that Tesla would be able to overcome the needs for skilled workers and battery engineers to continuously produce batteries for its products and vehicle manufacturing across worldwide markets. Subsequently, this purchase should also further strengthen Tesla’s presence in the European region with Gigafactory Berlin. As ATW was reportedly already facing bankruptcy risks during the buy over, it’s been said that this acquisition may have come at a great price to Tesla.
A look at ATW (Assembly & Test Europe GmbH)
ATW is a battery assembly company based in Neuwied, Germany, and a subsidiary of the Canadian ATS group. In the past, ATW has been well known for its production in Magna’s transmission assembly lines and their highly skilled engineers. ATW is also the long-time battery assembly company for BMW and Daimler. News of its imminent bankruptcy first hit the market earlier in the month of September, before reported leaks of its acquisition by American car maker Tesla in late September. While there are no official statements from either company to date, this acquisition indicated the preservation of all 210 skilled jobs that are available within the company including battery engineers and assembly line staff.