Tesla has tabbed a Chinese executive to run its plant in Texas, which raises interesting questions about Chinese interest in, and influence over, the American automotive industry. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:
You have probably heard about – and may even know – people who refused to buy VWs and Mercedes-Benzes because of the dealings of those companies with the government of national socialist Germany during the years the national socialists ran Germany. Well, how about cars made under the auspices of the Chinese Communist Party?
Word has just leached out that Elon Musk will be importing a Chinese executive to oversee the new Tesla plant in Austin, Texas. His name is Tom Zhu and The Street says the Texas gig may be just a stepping stone to his next gig as the future CEO of Tesla.
Some might say this is comparable to having someone like Martin Bormann – a high official of the national socialist government of Germany – oversee a VW plant in America.
It’s worse, arguably – because there weren’t any VW (or other German) automobile plants in America while the national socialists were in power in Germany. By the time there were, the national socialists hadn’t been in control of Germany for decades. Buying a VW or Benz or Audi years after the national socialists had been removed from power did not empower national socialists.
But what about buying a Tesla built by a company that not only has direct ties to China but has a senior executive who is an emissary-agent of the Chinese Communist Party?
No one becomes a senior executive in China who is not approved by the Chinese Communist Party, which controls everything in China.