CEO Elon Musk: heads may roll on disappointing Tesla sales in China

Far from its aggressive targets, Tesla was only able to sell about 120 car units in China this January, according to latest reports. CEO Elon Musk has hinted on firing overseas executives because of this. Dark clouds now hover over Tesla’s ambitious worldwide expansion plans.

Citing an internal mail, Reuters auto reporter Bernie Woodall said in a recent tweet, “Musk may fire overseas execs after dismal China sales.” Tesla previously confirmed that two China managers had left the company back in 2014.

Addressing some questions raised about Tesla’s business operations in China, Elon Musk explained that customers had encountered difficulties in understanding Tesla cars, specifically how they worked with the electric-charging network that is available in the country.

In the United States, Tesla is seeking sales growth in the cold-weather states with its new, exciting offer, the Model S P85D, which is touted as the performance edition of the flagship Model S. The new model is dubbed as the “fastest-accelerating four-door production sedan ever made.”

The Model S P85D is a dual-engine vehicle, and serves as Tesla’s version of all-wheel drive, ideal in cold weather as it provides better performance and traction. The model is expected to fulfill customers’ needs as many have complained that the Model S performed poorly in cold-weather climates.

Although Tesla does not provide exact details about its sales, some industry experts note that 1/3 of Tesla’s U.S. sales are derived from the cold-weather states. California and other warm-weather states, are key states as well due to incentives and better infrastructure.

Meanwhile, a rivalry seems to be brewing between Tesla and Apple and it is still uncertain why and what. Business Insider said this Monday that Tesla employees have jumped ship to Apple. Bloomberg, on the other hand, reported last week that Tesla reportedly won over approximately 150 Apple employees. An Apple employee reportedly said, “Apple’s latest project is too exciting to pass up. I think it will change the landscape and give Tesla a run for its money.”

Whatever that project may be, we could only benefit as both innovative companies battle it out. David Whiston and Brian Colello, analysts from Morningstar think they know what the two companies are up to: the rivalry could focus on software related with autonomous cars in the near future. “Apple may want to be in that area, too, but with technology for the entire auto industry, not just for Tesla.” They added, “We don’t see Apple being a car manufacturer, but you never know.”

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