Ex-Chrysler VP moves west to head Tesla engineering

If Tesla has learned anything from the development of the Roadster over the past five years, it's that building a production car that meets present day regulations is a lot harder than anyone in Silicon Valley guessed. The process is filled with all kinds of potholes and having some people on the team with experience navigating those craters can be a big help. During AutoblogGreen's recent conversation with Tesla Chairman Elon Musk, he revealed that the company would have several experienced auto industry people coming aboard soon. The first of those new recruits has now been revealed as Mike Donoughe, Tesla's new Executive Vice President for vehicle development and manufacturing. Donoughe is a 24-year veteran of Chrysler who resigned from his VP post there three months ago, and was instrumental in the effort to redesign Chrysler's mid-sized cars. At Tesla he will be responsible for vehicle engineering for the Roadster and Model S except for the drivetrain. Initially, Donoughe will focus on getting the Model S' engineering and manufacturing sorted out. The Tesla press release is after the jump.

[Source: Tesla Motors, via AutoblogGreen]


Mike Donoughe, Industry Veteran, Joins Tesla Motors as EVP Vehicle Engineering and Manufacturing

SAN CARLOS, CA – Mike Donoughe, a veteran auto industry executive, has joined Tesla Motors as Executive Vice President, Vehicle Engineering and Manufacturing. In this role, Mike will be responsible for manufacturing, supply chain, quality and operations for the company. In addition, Mike will oversee both the Roadster Program and the 'Model S' program, a 4 door, 5 passenger electric sports sedan.

Donoughe, 49, was previously Vice President of 'Project D' at Chrysler, where he led the redesign of their global mid-size vehicle portfolio. Mike spent 24 years at Chrysler, where he led various product creation efforts, including the Stow N Go minivans, Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Ram programs. Mike also spent 3 years with Mercedes Benz in Stuttgart as Director of passenger car development, M and R Class, and is recognized as one of the top engineers in the auto industry.

"Mike is a very valuable addition to our leadership team. His track record, expertise and leadership will help Tesla as we prepare for significant growth." said Tesla CEO Ze'ev Drori. "Mike's immediate priorities are to ensure that production of the Tesla Roadster runs smoothly and efficiently and to drive the continued development of our next car, the 'Model S' a 4 door, 5 passenger sports sedan."

"I joined the Tesla team because I am enthusiastic about Tesla's objective to integrate their disruptive EV technology into mainstream automobiles," said Mike Donoughe, "Tesla is creating vehicles that appeal to customers looking for environmentally sound & energy efficient solutions without compromising on functionality and performance. I look forward to contributing to these efforts as a part of the Tesla team."

Mike has been married for over 26 years to Shelley and has 3 grown children - David (24), Kaitlin (22), and Kelly (21). Mike will be based at Tesla's headquarters in San Carlos, CA.

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