Tesla Inc’s China chief Tom Zhu has been promoted to head the electric carmaker’s US assembly plants and sales operations in North America and Europe.
This move makes Zhu the highest-profile Tesla executive after Elon Musk, with oversight for deliveries in all of its major markets and all of its production outside the still-ramping Tesla plant in Germany, according to Thomson Reuters.
The same report revealed that Tesla’s posting showed that Zhu’s title of vice president for Greater China had not changed. He is retaining his responsibilities as Tesla’s most senior executive for sales in the rest of Asia as of Tuesday.
In response to the news, a source from Tesla said that they had not received an internal email about Zhu’s promotion.
In April 2014, Tom Zhu joined Tesla and led the development of Tesla China’s super charging station. Zhu has played an important role in the rapid development of Tesla China’s super charging station. During this period, Tesla has built nearly 40 super charging piles in China and more than 600 destination charging piles in more than 60 cities nationwide.
Under Zhu, Tesla’s Shanghai plant rebounded strongly from COVID restrictions in China. At present, the annual production capacity of Gigafactory Shanghai has exceeded 750,000 vehicles, which is the highest production capacity of Tesla and also an important export center of Tesla in the world. Last November, Gigafactory Shanghai delivered more than 100,000 vehicles, a record high; From January to November 2022, its total delivery exceeded 650,000 vehicles.
According to data released by Tesla, in 2022, Tesla produced 1.3696 million vehicles and delivered 1.3339 million vehicles worldwide, which is the first time that Tesla’s global production and delivery exceeded one million vehicles, of which more than 1.2 million are Model 3 and Model Y. In 2021, 936,200 vehicles will be delivered. In 2022, the delivery volume will increase by more than 40% year by year.
Zhu and a team of his reports were brought in by Tesla late last year to troubleshoot production issues in the US, driving an expectation among his colleagues then that he was being groomed for a bigger role.
When Tesla posted a picture on Twitter last month to celebrate its Austin, Texas, plant hitting a production milestone for its Model Y, Zhu was among hundreds of workers.