Tesla has appointed a former Daimler Trucks North America senior executive as its new head of heavy truck operations as the controversial electric vehicle maker ramps up to a a launch for its heavy truck product.
Tesla has announced Jerome Guillen, formerly Daimler North America’s general manager of product development at Freightliner and later became director and founder of Daimler’s business innovation department. More recently Guillen has been ensconced in the Tesla bunker working on passenger vehicle programs, as acting VP of vehicle engineering, director of Tesla’s Model S program, VP of worldwide sales and service and VP of trucks and programs
In his new role as vice president of heavy duty trucks he will oversee the lead in to production of the Tesla Semi program and related charging and servicing networks.
Guillen’s background in Class 8 truck development and innovation is obviously seen as a massive advantage for Tesla.
“As Tesla prepares to enter the critical heavy trucks market for the first time, Jerome Guillen will now leverage his extensive background in this industry to focus on and lead all aspects of the Tesla Semi program,” Tesla announced in an SEC filing.
The transition comes a little over a month since the company’s 2020 fourth-quarters earnings call, in which Tesla boss Elon Musk said the Tesla Semi, a Class 8 battery-electric prime mover, had finished its pre-production engineering work and said the Semi would be ready to go to market later this year.
However, the company’s expressed that limited ability to source battery cells would be a challenge and that hasn’t been the first setback for Class 8.
Initially, the electric truck was introduced to the industry in 2017 and set to begin production in 2019. That date was pushed to 2020, and again delayed to this year.