Tesla’s top manager leaves the company after more than ten years

Jun 9, 2021

The US electric car manufacturer Tesla and one of its key executives have gone their separate ways.

Jerome Guillen, who held a senior position at Tesla for over ten years, left the group on June 3rd. Tesla announced this on late Monday. Guillen joined Tesla in 2010 and was most recently responsible for the heavy truck business, in which Musk has great hopes. Previously, he headed Tesla’s entire automotive division.

“We thank him for his many contributions and wish him well in his future career,” Tesla commented on his departure.

For years, Guillen, was considered one of the key figures behind Tesla’s successes in its mission to bring electric cars to the mass market. Until his departure, Guillen was one of four top managers of the company.  During his time in charge of the automotive business at Tesla, Guillen helped build the company’s first international plants in Shanghai and developed the company’s battery cell supply partnerships.

 Out of the top four managers at Tesla, only CFO Zack Kirkhorn and Drew Baglino, who heads the drive and energy technology division, remain alongside CEO Musk.

China sales could see significant increase

The US electric car pioneer, Tesla, was able to make a noticeable breakthrough in the Chinese market, a fact that has recently become problematic for various U.S companies. According to data from the industry association PCA in Beijing (China Passenger Car Association), the company was able to deliver 33,463 vehicles from Chinese production to customers in May, around 29% more than the previous month. However, this could be attributed to the fact that Tesla’s factory in Shanghai was temporarily shut down for maintenance in April.

Investors have recently been concerned about whether Tesla will be able to maintain its position in the Chinese market with competition growing in the electric car industry.

It remains to be seen whether the recovery can be sustained. Tesla bypasses local car dealerships with its sales model and relies on online customer orders. Because the delivery time is longer, it reflects the demand from possibly a few months in advance.

In the past few weeks, Tesla had come under fire in China after a customer protest. The company had to issue a public apology addressing the complaint that the braking system in one of its vehicles was slow to react.

Public customer protests and official apologies from companies in China are frequent – they are seen as signs that the relationship between companies and local authorities could be better. Whether the episode will have a lasting impact on the popularity of the Tesla brand in China will be evident in the coming months. According to unconfirmed media reports, orders at Tesla fell significantly in May compared to April. The PCA General Secretary Cui Dongshu saw no greater impact on the sales figures – he expects more Tesla cars to be sold in June than in May, he said in Beijing.