Rino Eccleston founded a unique construction business almost 40 years ago. He and his team build smaller, simpler industrial projects, then sell those business, as well as many of his other products, across the country.
But last year, that business changed dramatically. In the span of about a month, Eccleston sold his industrial building supply businesses to a larger company, then he became head of product design at Tesla.
“What will happen is a big team of engineers and product managers working for me will probably focus on Tesla,” he told FoxNews.com in a recent interview.
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For Eccleston, who currently lives in California, it’s all good news. Like many engineers, he loves solving problems and inventing products. That’s why he’s working hard on Tesla’s mass-market electric vehicle, currently codenamed the Model 3.
“I can focus more on the software side of the car,” he said. “I get to solve more problems. I get to create more new ideas. I get to improve the system.”
Eccleston thinks his design experience on electric cars will be important as Tesla struggles to bring the Model 3 to market.
He also said his entrepreneurial spirit will be a benefit to Tesla, now that he’s bringing down costs. He said in addition to his time spent on the Model 3, he’s also helping design the company’s groundbreaking semi-truck, which he said will begin production in a matter of months.
Eccleston said electric cars will create many more jobs for people in the United States as new electric auto factories begin to open and new job opportunities will be created.
“We have people that work at my construction company who then have an opportunity to work on Tesla,” he said. “That’s going to continue on.”
He also said he’s excited to help Tesla get to market as quickly as possible. He said he wants to make sure the automaker’s manufacturing system is as up to snuff as possible.
“I’m excited to work with this team to do all of that,” he said.