Earlier this week that Tesla’s China president Tom Zhu, who supervised the transition of Gigafactory Shanghai into the world’s biggest EV facility, had been selected to head the new Gigafactory in Austin, Texas. The China head, who has been with Tesla China since April2014, would thus be among Tesla’s most senior executives.
Experts in the field were not surprised by the move, since the Gigafactory Shanghai has swiftly become a crucial production and export centre for Tesla.
Getting the plant up and running from December 2018 to December 2019 was a rather quick process. Elon Musk tweeted in August that the one millionth Tesla was created in the Gigafactory in Shanghai, making up around a third of the total number of Teslas made to that date. The month of November 2018 set a new monthly record for the facility, with 100,291 automobiles delivered.
Such success makes Zhu, who supports what Musk calls a “hardcore” work atmosphere, a favoured employee. Zhu may have a foolproof plan for rapidly assembling a high-performing manufacturing team, but it would be difficult to replicate China’s special circumstances elsewhere.
Chinese auto blogger Chris Zheng said, “Over the last three years, Gigafactory Shanghai has outpaced its rivals in Fremont, Texas, and Berlin, while [not all of the success is owed to Tom or the China team.
Shanghai and Texas aren’t the answer since neither has a “friendly regulatory climate,” a “strong supply chain basis,” or a “effective front-line execution team.” These things are all unique to China. Take BYD as an example. But that’s not all there is to it,” he said, “Tom and his executive staff are fantastic.
PingWest, a Chinese technology news outlet, said on Wednesday that Musk had named Zhu CEO of Tesla Global, a new executive job in charge of sales and Gigafactories. Musk will continue to manage “important technological activities at the business.”
Musk tweeted on Thursday that he is “still overseeing both Tesla & SpaceX, but the people there are so strong that frequently little is required from me.”
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