Time to troubleshoot issues that need to be resolved. Fast.
Tesla has dispatched a team of its top Chinese executives to the US in order to find ways to straighten out production issues and boost delivery times. According to Reuters, Tesla China chief Tom Zhu and his lieutenants have arrived in the US to find ways to troubleshoot production delays. Zhu also leads Tesla's Asia operations and is rumored to succeed Elon Musk as the automaker's CEO.
Zhu and his Shanghai Gigafactory manager, Song Gang, are reportedly visiting the California and Texas Gigafactories as recently as last week. As usual, Tesla did not return a request for comment.
Thanks to Zhu, Tesla managed to recover in China following strict lockdowns due to the pandemic to a 50% production growth. It turns out this was not the first time Zhu and his team visited the US to turn things around.
Last August, Zhu and crew were in Texas to examine what was happening regarding the long-delayed Cybertruck. The Austin Gigafactory is currently building only the Model Y, but that vehicle also requires a production increase to meet demand.
Meanwhile, both the Fremont, California and Shanghai factories are due to begin production of the rumored new-ish Model 3 sometime next year. The timing of Zhu's US visit should come as a welcome sign to concerned investors.
Very recently, they expressed their concerns that Musk was not paying attention to Tesla, but rather his current project, running Twitter. Although Musk announced he would step down from the latter role once he finds a replacement, investors are not convinced it'll happen anytime soon.
So, what exactly are the Chinese Tesla staff doing at the US plants?
According to sources on the ground, Chinese engineers were spotted at the Austin factory section dedicated to Cybertruck development and batteries. At Fremont, they were seen working on Model Y underbody assemblies. Zhu, like Musk, is a serious workaholic.
As part of the Shanghai plant's efforts to restart operations following those lockdowns, he not only asked thousands of workers and suppliers to stay at the factory for over six weeks, he stayed even longer. In fact, he literally moved in and slept there until the job was done right (just like Musk did back in 2018). The output of the Model 3 and Model Y increased by over 70% in one business quarter. Through last September, Shanghai accounted for over half of Tesla's global output.