On December 8, according to people familiar with the matter, Elon Musk (Elon Musk) has appointed Zhu Xiaotong, Tesla’s Greater China director, to help the company operate its new factory in Austin, Texas, USA. Prior to this, Zhu Xiaotong was in charge of the construction and operation of the Shanghai Super Factory for a long time.
People familiar with the matter said that Zhu Xiaotong joined Tesla in 2014, initially helping to build a network of supercharging stations, and has since been in charge of Tesla’s Asia-Pacific business.
this week,Zhu Xiaotong has gone to Austin and brought part of the engineering team from China to help expand the Texas factory.The Texas plant will be the US production center for the Tesla Model Y and the electric pickup Cybertruck.
However, it is unclear how long Zhu will be based in Austin, or whether he will retain responsibilities in Asia, people familiar with the matter said. Representatives for Tesla in the U.S. and China did not respond to requests for comment. Musk also declined to comment.
As Zhu Xiaotong heads to Austin, Tesla has been working hard to ramp up capacity at the new factory. Tesla originally planned to build the Model Y SUV at the plant and equip it with the new, larger 4680 lithium-ion battery.
Earlier this year, Musk called the factory a “money melting pot.” But considering that the new battery is not yet ready for mass production, Tesla switched to the traditional 2170 battery.
Meanwhile, Musk has had to spend a lot of energy running the social media company after acquiring Twitter in late October. In addition, he is the CEO of the space company SpaceX, and needs to run the tunneling startup The Boring Co and the brain-computer interface startup Neuralink.
Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter has raised concerns about how he divides his time among his many companies and weighed on Tesla’s stock price. Tesla shares have fallen about 50% so far this year. In fact, just last month, Musk himself admitted that he has “too much work.”
For many years, Zhu Xiaotong has been Tesla’s top executive in China, which is also the company’s largest market outside the United States. Tesla produces the Model 3 and Model Y at its Shanghai factory, which are not only for domestic consumption but also exported to other parts of Asia and Europe.
Recently,Tesla completed an upgrade to its Shanghai factory, doubling its production capacity to about 1 million vehicles a year, with deliveries soaring to a record 100,291 vehicles in November.
Musk has repeatedly praised Chinese employees for their diligence and strong work ethic. He once said: “They will not only stay up late, but also work conscientiously at three o’clock in the morning.” At the same time, he criticized American employees for “not wanting to go to work at all.”
Earlier this year, Musk issued an “ultimatum” to Tesla’s global employees: either return to the office to work or leave, which caused an uproar.
On the evening of December 7, according to Pinwan, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has confirmed his successor – Tesla’s current global vice president and Greater China CEO Zhu Xiaotong.
However, Zhu Xiaotong’s scope of responsibility is limited to the automotive business and does not include autonomous driving and robotics projects. Jiemian News asked Tesla for confirmation on this news, but has not yet received a response.