Tesla Inc is revamping its organization in Asia to put more focus on China as the company prepares to start manufacturing in the world’s largest electric car market, people familiar with the matter said.
The company is dismantling its Asia-Pacific business unit and forming a new division for “greater China” that would cover China, as well as Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, the people said, asking not to be named as the plan has not been announced publicly.
Tom Zhu (朱曉彤), who last year took over as vice president of APAC operations from Robin Ren (任宇翔), would head the division, the people said.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is betting on China, Tesla’s biggest market after the US, to boost sales and restore investor confidence that has slumped along with the company’s stock this year.
Tesla is building a factory in Shanghai that is to start operating later this year and bolster competitiveness in a nation crowded with hundreds of electric vehicle rivals.
Zhu would continue to lead the Shanghai factory operation, which he took charge of last year after managing other aspects of Tesla’s China business, including the rollout of its supercharger stations.
He would also head sales and training for the nation and a number of other teams, the people said.
The Asia-Pacific region’s other teams would report to Tesla’s head office in Palo Alto, California, they said.
Tesla did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
The need for Tesla to expand beyond the US was highlighted by its latest quarterly results, which missed analysts’ projections.
The halving of a US federal tax incentive for Tesla purchases starting in January dragged on US demand in the quarter, and Tesla struggled to offset that drop by starting deliveries of the Model 3 in Europe and China.
Tesla shares on Tuesday climbed as much as 4.3 percent, but the stock is still down 32 percent this year.
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