Tesla looking to double engineering staff

PALO ALTO, California Thu Oct 7, 2010 8:55am EDT

A Tesla Roadster is electrically charged at Tesla Motors Inc in San Carlos, California July 22, 2009. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/

A Tesla Roadster is electrically charged at Tesla Motors Inc in San Carlos, California July 22, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith/

PALO ALTO, California (Reuters) - Silicon Valley electric carmaker Tesla Motors is seeking to double its engineering staff as it ramps up development of the new lower-priced Model S sedan.

"We are growing very rapidly," said Jim Dunlay, Tesla's vice president of powertrain hardware engineering. "We are looking for key personnel in every area."

Tesla's engineering staff is likely to double in the next six to nine months, Dunlay added.

The company is hiring in all departments including research and development, manufacturing and manufacturing engineering.

Tesla currently has about 250 engineers, many of whom were recruited from Detroit automakers, technology industry and some even from Formula One racing companies.

Dunlay was speaking at a media event where the company provided a tour inside its engineering and manufacturing operations located in a 370,000 square foot facility in Palo Alto.

Tesla, currently known for its $109,000 Roadster, employs about 800 employees worldwide.

The carmaker has had one of the few successful initial public offerings this year, raising about $226 million in its offering of 13.3 million shares, becoming the first U.S. car company to go public since Ford Motor Co in 1956.

The company has said the key milestone for the company this year was to complete a prototype of the Model S that would be about 80 percent to 90 percent close to the final production model.

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