Musk brings Tesla’s China chief to Texas to run gigafactory, report says

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Elon Musk has tapped a longtime Tesla govt in China who oversaw development of the Shanghai gigfactory to assistance operate the automaker&#x2019s latest plant in Austin, Texas, people today acquainted with the make a difference explained.

Tom Zhu, who joined Tesla in 2014 to assistance construct its Supercharger community and most not too long ago has been heading the automaker&#x2019s Asia Pacific functions, is in Austin this 7 days and has introduced some of his engineering staff from China with him to guide in overseeing the ramp up of Giga Texas &#x2014 a U.S. hub for the Product Y and potential output of the Cybertruck &#x2014 the people today explained, inquiring not to be determined mainly because they are not licensed to discuss publicly.

It&#x2019s not very clear how extended Zhu will be in Austin for, or whether or not he will keep his Asia duties, the people today explained.

Associates at Tesla in the U.S. and China did not react to requests for remark. Zhu was not right away in a position to be contacted. Musk also did not react to messages searching for remark.

The change of Zhu to Austin arrives as Tesla has been trying to increase output at its new Texas factory.

The US electrical motor vehicle pioneer at first prepared to make Product Y SUVs working with its new, greater 4680 lithium-ion cells at the plant, which Musk referred to as a &#x201Cmoney furnace&#x201D previously this calendar year.

But as an alternative Tesla has pivoted to working with more mature 2170 cells taking into consideration the new batteries had been not all set for quantity output.

It also arrives arrives as Musk has been investing time operating Twitter right after obtaining the social media system in late Oct.

He is also main govt of Room Exploration Systems, far more normally regarded as SpaceX, and established tunneling business The Uninteresting Co. and mind-chip developer Neuralink.

Musk&#x2019s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter has sparked issues about how he is dividing his time in between his several organizations, and has also weighed on Tesla&#x2019s inventory, which is down about 50 p.c this calendar year.

In fact, Musk himself as not too long ago as final thirty day period admitted he has &#x201Ctoo significantly perform&#x201D on his plate.

Zhu for decades was Tesla&#x2019s major govt in China, the EV maker&#x2019s most important market place outside the house of the US. Tesla&#x2019s manufacturing unit in Shanghai helps make Product three and Product Y automobiles for domestic intake and for export into other elements of Asia and Europe.

It was not too long ago upgraded to double the plant&#x2019s capability to about one million automobiles a calendar year and shipments final thirty day period soared to a file 100,291 automobiles.

Musk has also usually expressed admiration for the Chinese perform ethic, praising Tesla China staff for &#x201Cburning the three am oil&#x201D although stating that Us citizens are &#x201Ctrying to stay away from heading to perform at all.&#x201D

The billionaire famously brought on a stir previously this calendar year when he gave workers at Tesla globally an ultimatum: return to the place of work or go and perform somewhere else.

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