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Tesla loses another manager from Berlin factory, report says

Tesla has lost another top manager from the automaker’s new European plant under construction near Berlin, according to a report in Automobilwoche, the German affiliate publication of Automotive News.

Marcel Jost, head of general assembly, left the automaker last month while Tesla CEO Elon Musk was visiting Germany, Automobilwoche said. The reason for his departure is not known and Jost was not available for comment, the magazine said.

Jost had previously worked at Daimler, serving most recently as the automaker’s head of safety and environmental management in Stuttgart. He had also worked for Daimler in China for several years. He became Tesla’s senior quality manager in Germany in March 2020.

Jost’s departure follows that of Evan Horetsky, project manager of the plant in Gruenheide near Berlin. Horetsky left Tesla in October 2020. Horetsky has since joined Swedish hypercar manufacturer Koenigsegg. Another top Daimler executive, Rene Reif, was due to replace Horetsky, but never took the post, Automobilwoche said.

Personnel issues are not the only problems Tesla is facing in Germany. Musk has been frustrated by the complex regulation and red tape tangling up the opening of the factory.

During a visit to the plant on May 17 Musk said it was unclear when exactly its first car would roll off the production line. “I think there could be less bureaucracy, that would be better,” Musk told reporters at the site.

In April, Tesla said it has delayed the factory’s opening to late 2021 from an initial July 1 date. The automaker blamed lengthy approval processes after it added plans for a battery cell plant on the site.

In addition to battling German bureaucracy, Tesla has also been facing resistance from environmental activists, who last week claimed responsibility for a fire that damaged several power cables at the factory site.

Tesla has said it could produce up to 500,000 cars at the plant annually, starting with the Model Y crossover.

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