Tesla Names Automotive Newcomers As Model S Execs By Reuters Staff, Reuters - 8/9/2011
Tesla Motors named four executives, none from the automotive industry, to help the Silicon Valley company prepare for the mass production of its Model S car, which is due out in 2012. Tesla on Tuesday said it appointed Ravi Simhambhatla as vice president of information technology and business applications, Greg Reichow as vice president of powertrain operations, Peter Carlsson as vice president of supply chain and John Hillegass as vice president of design and retail development.
Tesla plans to debut the Model S in mid-2012. It hopes that the sedan will widen its scope from being a niche brand that sells only the expensive Roadster sports car. The base model of the Model S will cost about $57,400 compared to the Roadster's base price of $109,000, before a $7,500 federal tax credit and other rebates.
Reichow, who comes to Tesla from SunPower Corp, "will increase efficiency on Tesla's existing lines and implement innovative processes for Tesla's future vehicles," the company said in a press statement.
Hillegass will help build Tesla's retail store network after working for Pixar Studios, Stanford University, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Apple.
Simhambhatla was chief information officer at high service, low-cost airline Virgin America, and Carlsson comes from NXP Semiconductors.
The Model S will have three battery offerings that will be designed to have a range of 160 miles, 230 miles or 300 miles on a full charge.
Tesla will phase out the Tesla Roadster in January 2012 to focus on the Model S. The Tesla Roadster sports car has a base price of $109,000. Most are selling at $140,000 or more.
The company plans to unveil its Model X sports utility prototype in December. The Model X is due out in late 2013.
Tesla has about 1,400 workers.
(Reporting by Bernie Woodall. Editing by Robert MacMillan)