SHANGHAI — Tesla has tapped China chief Tom Zhu to troubleshoot manufacturing engineering challenges in the USA, in line with two individuals with data of the matter.
They’re engaged on upcoming tasks, together with the Cybertruck, the individuals mentioned, including that Zhu’s colleagues in China imagine he’s being groomed for a much bigger function at a time when CEO Elon Musk is in search of to overtake Twitter.
Here’s a have a look at Zhu and different key China managers who’ve helped Tesla’s Shanghai manufacturing unit roar again from lockdowns to convey the electrical car maker near its international progress targets for the 12 months.
Zhu, who was born in China however now holds a New Zealand passport, joined Tesla in 2014. Earlier than that he was a challenge supervisor at an organization established by his MBA classmates at Duke College, advising Chinese language contractors engaged on abroad infrastructure tasks.
Zhu was overseeing tasks for Kaibo Engineering in Libya and Sudan when he was launched to Cal Lankton, then director of world EV charging infrastructure at Tesla. Lankton later employed Zhu to take cost of constructing Tesla’s charging amenities in China, in line with one of many individuals who is near Zhu.
The individuals weren’t approved to talk to media and declined to be recognized. Zhu couldn’t be reached for remark and Telsa didn’t reply to requests for remark.
Zhu took over as China nation supervisor for Tesla on the finish of 2014, when gross sales of the Mannequin S have been declining on this planet’s largest auto market.
Beneath Zhu, Tesla vehicles have been exempt from site visitors restrictions in main cities similar to Beijing and the automaker launched an adapter so the vehicles might be charged utilizing a revamped Chinese language charging commonplace. The strikes boosted Tesla’s gross sales in China, and its income from China greater than tripled in 2016 from 2015.
Throughout Shanghai’s two-month COVID lockdown, Zhu was among the many first batch of workers sleeping within the manufacturing unit as they sought to maintain it working, individuals who work with him mentioned.
After 22 days of shutdown, the Shanghai plant resumed partial manufacturing with a “closed loop” system the place 1000’s of employees and suppliers lived and labored within the manufacturing unit for weeks.
Zhu, a no-fuss supervisor who sports activities a buzz minimize, favors Tesla-branded fleece jackets and lives in a government-subsidized residence that could be a 10-minute drive from the Shanghai Gigafactory.
When Tesla posted an image on Twitter final week to have a good time its Austin, Texas plant hitting a manufacturing milestone, Zhu was amongst a whole lot of employees smiling on the manufacturing unit flooring.
Allan Wang was promoted to vice chairman accountable for gross sales and supply in China in July, in line with his Linkedin profile. Since November, Tesla has been providing incentives and reductions to consumers in its second-largest market. Wang, who joined Tesla in 2014, labored for Apple and AMD beforehand.
Track Gang has been plant supervisor of Giga Shanghai since 2018. He was a long-time challenge engineer at Common Motors and Ford Motor earlier than shifting to supervise manufacturing for Zhidou, an EV startup, in 2015. Track has been among the many Tesla executives who’ve been touring with Zhu.