Need another sign that Tesla is growing into a force to be reckoned with? Bloomberg reports it has just snagged high-profile communications boss Simon Sproule from Renault-Nissan to become the EV maker's vice president of communications and marketing.

Sproule is an industry veteran, having spent 20 years at Nissan (where he grew to become CEO Carlos Ghosn's right-hand man). In addition, he logged stints at Ford, Jaguar (when it was still a Blue Oval-owned brand) and Microsoft. Despite all that experience, Sproule is still young, at just 45 years of age, as Bloomberg points out, yet he's held positions in the US, Japan and France over the years.

This is all good news for Tesla, which is in need of a strong spokesman outside of company CEO Elon Musk. It's been battling with the state of New Jersey and its governor, Chris Christie, over direct sales in the Garden State.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      Robert Fahey
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wonder if he will initiate Tesla advertisements. Or maybe he'll rely on fan-based stuff that doesn't cost Tesla a penny, like this one that's going viral as I write: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKbRAazkiWc
      SloopJohnB
      • 1 Year Ago
      We should all get busy and write your congressperson or state legislator to pass legislation outlawing car dealership monopolies on car sales. Tesla should be allowed to try it's business model rather than force it into the corrupt rent-seeking practices espoused by the National Automobile Dealers Association and their unlawful campaign and bribery contributions.
      Grendal
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tesla finally got around to finding someone to replace George Blankenship. Now they need to hire about 10 to 20 kick-@ss lawyers to get the dealerships off their butt.
        Marco Polo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Grendal
        @ Grendal Tesla retain an excellent, and highly talented law firm. But no lawyer, no matter how talented, can change the law. No court or Judge can overrule the legislature. Rational discussion on this subject has become impossible, any realistic analysis brings a deluge of rabid anti-dealer abuse, mostly ill-informed. ( I have a suspicion that rabid posters like, ''purrpullberra'', are actually working for the dealers, to bring Tesla into disrepute :). Remove all the irrelevant hyperbole, and the two positions are easily understand. 1) Tesla : Elon Musk believes that the US automotive industry is undergoing a transformation in accordance with much of US society. Being a 'child' of Silicon Valley and California, he is more familiar with the internet, than an older "main street " American society. His supporters are largely tech savvy, and urban, comfortable with the Apple business model, and feel no loyalty to the older institutions. Elon Musk and Tesla, seek to distance themselves from traditional car makers, and the auto-industry's negative image. (very understandable). He argues, (with considerable validity) that the internet has rendered the old laws obsolete, and too inflexible for products like Tesla. 2) The Dealers: In many states of the US laws exist preventing manufactures of certain products from dominating the retail sector. Most of these laws are long established, and in the case of the Auto-industry, the law has created retailers with a huge investment to protect. The fact that the laws differ from state to state, causes confusion. The dealers claim that they're not discriminating against either EV's or Tesla. Nissan, GM etc, sell EV's through dealers. The NADA says Tesla should establish a dealer network, the same as everyone else. The dealers claim support in local communities. These communities have been seriously damaged by giant, soulless shopping malls, full of Chinese goods. The NADA fears Tesla's business model would allow the other manufacturers to follow Tesla's lead. Not only would the local businessman disappear, but the consumer would be left with no local service. In this situation, no one is 100% right. So it becomes a fight of political numbers. On the internet, Tesla would seem to have 98% ! But that's not reality ! In reality, the NADA can muster 40-60% of voters. Those voters are strongly organised and influential in the local communities where grass roots support wins elections. A NJ state legislator must think carefully who carries more community support when it comes to re-election, the local Ford dealer, ( former Mayor and current assemblyman, President of Rotary, school board member, democratic stalwart and contributor, local employer, community leader, etc ) or a Californian billionaire, with a following on the internet ? It's really that simple ! Run the numbers, do the political math,it's not "corrupt", just how US democracy works.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Very well stated, as usual. It's generally said that car salesmen as a group are among the least reputable professions, yet most people (more than 70%) will tell you that they are quite satisfied with the individual and Dealership who sold them their car. http://www.cars.com/go/advice/Story.jsp?section=top&story=csrSsi&subject=csr
          Marco Polo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @ Letstakeawalk Franchised New Car Dealers are often unfairly included with smaller used cars lots, which obviously sell far more dubious products. So far Tesla has not experienced the problem of buyers needing to trade-in existing vehicles to buy a Tesla, that's a problem not envisaged by a 'Apple" style dealership. For the majority of people, a motor vehicle is the second biggest purchase of the lives. Cars are not computers, with volume, come the problem of used cars.
      6speed
      • 1 Year Ago
      If they don't replace him soon, how are we going to find out about the latest Tent Sale?
      purrpullberra
      • 1 Year Ago
      Allow Tesla Direct Sales on Facebook. Start a Tesla direct sales page for your state. Encourage everyone to get behind state wide initiatives, one to allow Tesla sales and one that allows all manufacturers to sell directly to customers if customers want to avoid a dealership. People should be free to buy a car directly from the manufacturer if they want to. Stand up for this basic American right that everyone in communist China enjoys. Fight corruption and cronyism. End predatory car salespeople's jobs. End predatory dealership practices. Allow Tesla Direct Sales. Allow ALL manufacturers to directly sell cars.