NUMMI 2015

NUMMI 2015

This is a brilliant segment of This American Life in collaboration with Frank Langfitt and NPR news.

A car plant in Fremont California that might have saved the U.S. car industry. In 1984, General Motors and Toyota opened NUMMI as a joint venture. Toyota showed GM the secrets of its production system: How it made cars of much higher quality and much lower cost than GM achieved. Frank Langfitt explains why GM didn’t learn the lessons—until it was too late.

Wikipedia has a nice history of the NUMMI plant.

The NUMMI plant was bought by Tesla and their cars are now made there. Here’s a video of production of the Tesla Model S in the same plant.


  1. Happened to listen to this last night. When I graduated college I purchased a new 1988 Chevy Nova, knowing of he NUMMI plant and that the car was really a Corolla. Paid it off in 3 years and drove it another 12. Finally donated the car with 206K miles. Loved that car.

    The culture at Chevy to miss the opportunity provided by the NUMMI collaboration is sad.

    1. Glad you got to listen to it and it had real meaning for you. I thought it was a fascinating story, very well reported. At least that plant is being used by Tesla now and the property didn’t go to waste.

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