Tesla Sets Up Leasing Company in China, Adds Two New Directors

Company as Oracle founder Ellison to board of directors.

by on Dec.28, 2018

Tesla Inc. established a leasing operation in China: another step toward growing sales in China.

Tesla Inc. is growing internationally while simultaneously resolving its battle with federal regulators in the United States.

The California-based electric-vehicle maker registered a wholly owned financial leasing company in China, with registered capital of $30 million, according to China’s National Enterprise Information Publicity System.

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The move to open a leasing operation in China falls in line with its plans to begin selling and building its cars in China. The company is seeking contractors to build its $2 billion gigafactory near Shanghai. The company has been moving quickly to establish a hold in China since the government eased local ownership laws for foreign EV makers.

As well as taking its next steps in China, the company selected to two independent board directors, meeting the terms of a settlement between the company and the Securities and Exchange Commission after Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggested in a tweet he secured the funds needed to take Tesla private: he did not.

(Elon Musk unveils his Boring tunnel. Click Here for the story.)

In addition to $40 million in fines and stepping away from his title as chairman for three years, the company needed to add two independent directors. They added Oracle Corp. co-founder Larry Ellison and Walgreens Boots Alliance’s global head of human resources, Kathleen Wilson-Thompson effective Dec. 27.

Tesla added Oracle founder Larry Ellison to its board of directors, meeting the terms of its settlement with the SEC.

A close friend of Musk’s, Ellison is also an owner in the company, buying 3 million shares of Tesla earlier this year.

However, it wasn’t is ongoing friendship alone that led Tesla to add Ellison, the company said it conducted a “thorough, expansive” search process for the directors, calling Ellison a “preeminent entrepreneur” and Wilson-Thompson “a human resources leader” and said both had a passion for sustainable energy.

(Click Here for more about Tesla hustling to build new plant in China.)

Wilson-Thompson is really the steady hand on the tiller as Ellison is much more like Musk: brash and known for making over-the-top comments. Regardless, the analyst community was pleased with the selections.

“Larry Ellison obviously has a tremendous presence in Silicon Valley … with maverick type CEO traits very similar to Elon Musk, so he brings a level of understanding because he has gone from a startup to a successful company similar to Tesla,” said Tigress Financial Partners analyst Ivan Feinseth in an email, Reuters reported.

“I don’t believe he would let friendship get in the way of good judgment,” Feinseth added about Ellison.

(Tesla has a smelly Easter egg in its latest infotainment system – a fart app. Click Here for more.)

Wedbush Analyst Daniel Ives described the additions as a “home run” in a note to investors, adding Ellison “could help channel Musk’s energy and passion into positives going forward thus moving further away from the ‘going private tweetstorm’ from a few months ago, which continues to be a lingering overhang on the name.”

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