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Tesla is still looking for a leader at Gigafactory Texas

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Tesla is still looking to hire a person to be in charge of the entire Gigafactory Texas – a role often known as a plant director. The search comes amid Tesla trying to ramp up production at the factory, but the company remains vague about the current output.

Over a year and a half ago, Tesla started a hiring spree for Gigafactory Texas in Austin. At the time, we noted that the automaker was still looking for a head of the plant.

Now a year and a half later, Tesla is already producing vehicles at the factory, but it apparently still doesn’t have a plant director.

Electrek spotted several Tesla employees at Gigafactory Texas sharing a job posting for “Senior Executive Manufacturing Leader, Gigafactory Texas.” The listing has been around for a while, but it is now being shared again by Gigafactory Texas executives and recruiters, suggesting that Tesla has yet to fill the position.

Responsible for all operations, including production, maintenance, engineering, and future projects related to manufacturing at Gigafactory Texas.

Fortunately, Tesla already has other manufacturing leaders at the plant, including Jason Shawhan, director of manufacturing at Gigafactory Texas. Tesla hired him from Ford last year, where he had worked for almost 20 years and most recently was the assistant plant manager at Ford’s Kansas City plant.

The automaker’s search for a plant leader comes amid Tesla trying to ramp up production of both Gigafactory Texas and Gigafactory Berlin simultaneously. Tesla already confirmed that Giga Berlin is now producing 2,000 vehicles per week.

Tesla previously confirmed 1,000 vehicles per week at Giga Texas back in June, but it hasn’t updated the production rate since then.

Interestingly, the company announced this weekend that Gigafactory Texas produced its 20,000th Model Y:

20k Model Y built at Giga Texas to date! pic.twitter.com/8Rl5ZqgqQq

— Tesla (@Tesla) October 30, 2022

However, that’s total production to date, and it doesn’t tell us the current production rate.

Electrek’s Take

To be fair, recruiting plant directors is no small task. We are talking about hiring a leader for eventually 10,000 workers.

A factory like Gigafactory Texas is a giant asset for a company, and it makes sense to be careful about who is going to lead it. The plant director is not only in charge of a lot of people but basically responsible for an asset that Tesla plans to be generating $50 to $100 billion per year in revenue at some point.

That means that if the plant director’s work influences the output by just 1% one way or the other, they could be making billion-dollar decisions. That kind of stress is not for everyone.


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