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USA: Tesla Falls After Executives Leave Before Electric Model S Debut

Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) — Tesla Motors Inc. plunged a record 19 percent after saying two senior engineers on the new Model S luxury sedan left the U.S. electric-car maker just months before the auto goes on sale.

Peter Rawlinson, Tesla’s vice president and chief engineer, and Nick Sampson, who supervised vehicle and chassis engineering, departed this month, according to Ricardo Reyes, a spokesman for the Palo Alto, California-based company.

“Having completed conceptual and design engineering work on Model S, Peter has decided to step away to tend to personal matters in the U.K.,” Reyes said yesterday. Sampson had “fully transitioned” off the Model S at the time of his departure, Reyes said without elaborating.

Tesla, which received a $465 million U.S. loan to build its rechargeable models at a plant in Fremont, California, plans to begin producing and selling Model S cars by midyear. The company said last month that initial versions, able to travel as far as 300 miles (480 kilometers) per charge, will sell for as much as $92,400 before a $7,500 tax credit.



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