Tesla Inc’s head of China, Tom Zhu, has taken over responsibilities for sales, service, and deliveries in North America, Electrek website reported on Monday, January 2, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Zhu’s official title remains vice president in charge of Asia/Pacific, according to the report on the US website dedicated to news on electric transportation and sustainable energy.
Tesla did not immediately respond to written requests for comment from Reuters.
Zhu and his team from Shanghai have been traveling to Tesla plants in California and Texas prompting talk among colleagues he is being groomed for a bigger role at a time when chief executive Elon Musk has been focused on his purchase of Twitter, Reuters reported last month.
Under Zhu’s leadership, Tesla Shanghai rebounded strongly from lockdowns this year to bring Tesla close to its target for 2022 of 50% production growth.
The automaker on Monday reported record production and deliveries for fourth-quarter electric vehicles, but it missed Wall Street estimates due to logistics problems, slowing demand, rising interest rates and fears of recession.
Tesla’s stock fell 65% in 2022, its worst year since going public in 2010.