From Tesla to Toyota: Automakers race to embrace gigacasting technology

Here's how Tesla's breakthrough technique is reshaping car manufacturing


Gigacasting, a breakthrough manufacturing technique pioneered by Tesla, is revolutionizing the automotive industry. By utilizing massive casting machines called Giga Presses, automakers can produce large single pieces of vehicle underbodies, streamline production, reduce costs, and enhance efficiency. 

Gigacasting has transformed car manufacturing by enabling the production of large, single-piece aluminum components. The streamlined production, cost reduction, increased efficiency, and environmental benefits associated with Gigacasting have caught the attention of automakers worldwide. As the automotive industry moves toward electric vehicles and seeks to optimize manufacturing processes, Gigacasting is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of automobile production.

This explainer delves into the concept of Gigacasting, its benefits, and why other automakers are eagerly pursuing this innovative approach.

Understanding Gigacasting:

Gigacasting involves the use of high-pressure aluminum die casting machines, known as Giga Presses, to manufacture automobile components. These Giga Presses are capable of producing aluminum parts significantly larger than those used in traditional auto manufacturing. The term "Giga" originates from Tesla's naming convention for its manufacturing facilities, referred to as "Gigafactories."

Streamlined Production and Cost Reduction:

Gigacasting enables automakers to simplify the manufacturing process by reducing the number of individual parts and welding requirements. In conventional methods, numerous stamped metal parts are welded together to form a car body. However, with Gigacasting, automakers can create a single, unified component. This reduction in parts leads to lower production costs and a simplified assembly line contributing to enhanced profitability. Tesla has reported up to a 40% reduction in related costs for certain components.

Increased Efficiency:

By replacing multiple welded components with a single cast module, Gigacasting reduces the complexity of manufacturing processes. This streamlining has allowed Tesla to eliminate approximately 600 robots from the assembly of its Model 3, resulting in greater operational efficiency. Moreover, the weight reduction achieved through Gigacasting is particularly crucial for electric vehicles (EVs) due to the significance of battery weight. The technique helps optimize vehicle performance and range.

Environmental Impact and Waste Reduction:

Gigacasting has the potential to reduce waste and greenhouse emissions in manufacturing plants. With the elimination of multiple smaller parts, there is a corresponding decrease in material waste generated during production. Additionally, the lightweight nature of aluminum used in Gigacasting contributes to more fuel-efficient vehicles, further reducing carbon emissions.

Expansion and Market Adoption:

Recognizing the benefits of Gigacasting, several automakers are exploring its implementation. Toyota, General Motors, Hyundai, Volvo Cars, and other manufacturers have either adopted the technology or are actively planning for its integration. These companies aim to leverage Gigacasting's potential to enhance performance, lower costs, and streamline production across their EV lineups.

Machine Manufacturers:

Italy-based IDRA, a subsidiary of China's LK Industries, is one of the prominent manufacturers of Giga Presses and supplies Tesla with these machines. Other competitors in the market include Buhler Group, Ube, Shibaura Machine, Yizumi, and Haitian. The global aluminum die-casting market, including Gigacasting machines, is projected to exceed $126 billion by 2032.


While Gigacasting presents significant advantages, there are challenges to its widespread adoption. Legacy automakers with diverse product lineups and existing factory machinery may face difficulties justifying the substantial investment required to implement this new casting technology. Additionally, the repairability of cars with single-piece cast sections may pose concerns, potentially increasing the cost of operation and maintenance.