Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) General Manager in China Resigns

The general manager of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) in China resigned from his position amid company’s preparation for its expansion in the country, which is considered as the largest auto market worldwide.

In an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg, Veronica Wu, vice president at Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) confirmed that Kingston Chang, general manager of the electric car manufacturer quit because of personal reasons.

Chang joined Tesla Motors from Bentley, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:VLKAY) in March last year. Prior to that his position at Bentley, Chang also worked at Inchcape Plc (LON:INCH) and Jebsen Group. He has been working in the automotive industry over the past 20 years.

China sales to match U.S. sales

Last January, Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) estimated that the sales of the electric car manufacturer in China will match its sales in the United States as early as 2015.

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has 8,600 square feet store in Beijing. The electric car manufacturer already started taking orders for its Model S from Chinese consumers last August, and it is currently preparing the delivery of its electric cars in China next month.

The electric car manufacture is selling its Model S for 734,000 yuan or $118,000 in China including shipping costs, value-added taxes, and import duties. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) wants its Model S to become part of the China’s subsidies for electric cars.

Model S upgraded

Musk recently announced that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) upgraded Model S to resolve issues in connection to the extremely unusual collisions resulted in underbody damages that led to car fires, but no reported injuries (serious or permanent). Misk emphasized that the chances of fires in a Model S at rough 1 to 8,000 vehicles is five times lower compared with the average rate of fire incidents in gasoline cars.

The electric car manufacturer improved its Model S with an over-the-air software update to increase the default ground clearance of the vehicle at highway speeds to significantly reduce the possibility of underbody impact. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) outfitted its electric cars (manufactured starting March 6) with titanium underbody shield and aluminum deflector plates.  It will retrofit the shield of all its existing cars free of charge as part of its normally scheduled service or upon request.

Musk said. “We felt it was important to bring this risk down to virtually zero to give Model S owners complete peace of mind.”

NHTSA closes investigation over fire accidents

The United States National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) closed its investigation against Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) after finding “no defect trends” related to the Model S fires.

The regulator also said,”Tesla’s revision of vehicle ride height and addition of increased underbody protection should reduce both the frequency of underbody strikes and the resultant fire risk.”