Tesla names new head of trucking division as the company nears its first Semi deliveries

Tesla Semi
Tesla plans to start delivering the Semi in limited numbers this year.

  • Jerome Guillen, formerly Tesla’s president of automotive, will head up its trucking division.
  • The change was announced in a regulatory filing dated March 11.
  • Tesla unveiled its class 8 truck, the Semi, back in 2017 and says deliveries will begin this year.
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Elon Musk’s new title of “Technoking” isn’t the only leadership change happening at Tesla. As of Thursday, the company has a new head of its trucking division.

In a regulatory filing dated March 11, the electric automaker said it had appointed Jerome Guillen, who had served as Tesla’s president of automotive since 2018, to lead the division.

Guillen has worked at Tesla in various leadership roles since 2010, according to his LinkedIn profile. Starting in January 2016, he assumed the role of vice president of trucking and programs, leading the Tesla Semi project.

The move comes as Tesla prepares to deliver its first Semi trucks later this year.

Read more: It’s time to retire comparisons between Apple and Tesla, once and for all

“As Tesla prepares to enter the critical heavy trucks market for the first time, Mr. Guillen will now leverage his extensive background in this industry to focus on and lead all aspects of the Tesla Semi program,” the company said in the filing.

Tesla unveiled the Semi, a battery-powered class 8 truck, in 2017 to much fanfare. But its production has been postponed several times since. Tesla initially eyed 2019 for the first deliveries and later pushed production to 2020 and finally to 2021.

During a conference call in January, Musk said Tesla could theoretically start producing Semi trucks at any time, but that it doesn’t have enough batteries to put in them. Still, Tesla plans to start building Semis in limited numbers this year.

It has racked up thousands of preorders for the $150,000-$200,000 truck from shipping giants like Walmart.

Tesla also said Guillen will lead the deployment of the “related charging and servicing networks” for the Semi.

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Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has begun rolling out of its Michigan plant in a truck convoy

Pfizer Truck in Michigan.JPG
A truck backs into the loading dock of the Pfizer Global Supply manufacturing plant in Portage, Michigan, on December 11, 2020.

  • A convoy of trucks loaded with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine are leaving the drugmaker’s Michigan manufacturing center on Sunday, carrying doses of the newly approved drug. 
  • Tractor trailers carrying the vaccine will make their way to a UPS hub in Louisville, Kentucky, where they’ll be loaded on planes to be shipped around the country.
  • “We have spent months strategizing with Operation Warp Speed officials and our healthcare customers on efficient vaccine logistics, and the time has arrived to put the plan into action,” said Wes Wheeler, president of UPS Healthcare, in a statement.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A convoy of trucks loaded with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine are leaving the drugmaker’s Michigan, manufacturing center on Sunday, carrying doses of the newly approved vaccine to hospitals and clinics around the US. 

“This is the moment of truth we’ve been waiting for at UPS. We have spent months strategizing with Operation Warp Speed officials and our healthcare customers on efficient vaccine logistics, and the time has arrived to put the plan into action,” said Wes Wheeler, president of UPS Healthcare, in a statement.

Pfizer’s vaccine, developed with Germany’s BioNTech, gained emergency approval from the US Food and Drug Administration on Friday. The company’s expecting to supply 50 billion doses around the world by the end of the year, it said in a statement. It’ll deliver a total of 1.3 billion by the end of 2021.

The drugmaker on Friday detailed its US rollout of its vaccine, saying it was producing the drug at three US sites – Kalamazoo, Michigan; Saint Louis, Missouri; and Andover, Massachusetts. 

UPS said most of the vaccines shipped Sunday would leave Pfizer’s Michigan facility in tractor trailers, with many shipments headed to a UPS hub in Louisville, Kentucky. From there, they’ll be loaded onto planes and shipped overnight to hospitals and clinics around the country. Most states will receive the vaccine on Monday morning

The shipments leaving in trucks on Sunday represent a “historic feat” for both vaccine development and expedited shipping, said Mike McDermott, president of Pfizer Global Supply.

He said: “We know that agile, world-class logistics is critical to get our products where they are needed, and we’re happy to partner with UPS in this historic effort to save lives and create healthier communities right now and well into the future.”

Shipping the vaccine comes with its own challenges, as the drug needs to be kept in extreme cold, about minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit. So the trucks must be refrigerated.

“Each shipper contains a GPS-enabled thermal sensor to track the location and temperature of each vaccine shipment 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” the company said. 

After reaching their destinations, the drug will be thawed, says Pfizer. It’ll be safe to use for up to five days when stored between about 35 degrees and 42 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Rep. Fred Upton, who represents Pfizer’s Michigan district, praised the company’s rollout. 

“Tomorrow, on the four-year anniversary of 21st Century Cures becoming law, the first COVID-19 vaccine will be shipped nationwide from Pfizer’s global manufacturing facility in Portage.  Coupled with an expected Moderna EUA by the end of the week, as many as 100 million Americans will be vaccinated by the end of March. That is real hope,” he said in a statement

Michigan’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer, urged people not to let their guard down just because the vaccine has started shipping.

“It will take time to widely distribute the vaccine, and we must all continue to do our part by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and washing our hands frequently,” she said in a statement. 

In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo expected an initial delivery of 170,000 doses, while California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom said he expected 327,600 doses. Both were among the highest dose count for the first round of distributions, according to a Business Insider tally of state-by-state distributions

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