Tesla is hoping for great things in China, but sales seem to be materializing more slowly than expected. TSLA stock took a dive in January, after Musk said that Chinese sales were down in Q4 2014. It may have nothing to do with the sales slowdown, but the head of Tesla’s Chinese operations, Veronica Wu, resigned in December, to be replaced by Zhu Xiaotong.
Musk blames the slump on range anxiety and a perceived lack of infrastructure. “Things were a little weaker in China because of some communications issues, most importantly around charging,” he said. “There was a misconception that charging was difficult in China.”
Tesla is hustling to change that situation. Over the past eight months, it has opened nine “experience centers,” and installed over 52 Supercharger stations and over 1,000 charging posts.
Zhu Xiaotong said the company has to “develop in accordance with the situation in China.” Tesla needs to focus on providing better service and user experiences, and on mobilizing current owners to become e-vangelists.
“Musk’s high hope for us is like a parent for his or her child,” said Zhu. “We have to tell the market who is Tesla.”