Tesla reorganizing global sales team after missing targets

DETROIT (Reuters) - Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc TSLA.O is reorganizing its regional sales teams after missing sales targets in 2014 and will reassign its global sales chief once it appoints new executives to run local operations, the company said on Friday.

Tesla Motors Inc CEO Elon Musk (L) unveils a new all-wheel-drive version of the Model S car in Hawthorne, California October 9, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

In a statement, Tesla said it will appoint three regional sales vice presidents for North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

“We are interviewing candidates for those roles and expect to bring them on board later this year,” the company said in a statement.

Tesla has ambitious growth plans, aiming to boost global sales this year by nearly 75 percent to 55,000. But the company, plagued by a slow start in China and production delays at its California factory, delivered only 31,655 cars last year.

Two top China managers left the company in 2014, and Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk had threatened to fire other overseas executives for poor performance, sources told Reuters in February.

Tesla stock was down 1.6 percent to 188 in mid-day trade. The shares, off a 52-week peak of $291.42, are down more than 20 percent over the past 12 months.

Jerome Guillen, vice president of global sales and service, will shift later this year to a post-sales role that focuses on customer care, Tesla said in a statement on Friday.

Tesla said Guillen is not being demoted and remains part of the senior executive team reporting to Musk.

Guillen “has done an incredible job,” the company said in a statement. “He has taken Tesla to the highest service satisfaction of any company in the auto industry by far.”

News of Guillen’s job change was first reported on Friday by Bloomberg.

Reporting by Paul Lienert and Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Christian Plumb