Tesla's new Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Marketing and Service, Michael van der Sande, left his first post on the company's "Think" blog yesterday. The self-proclaimed car nut replaces Darryl Siry, who announced his resignation on Monday.

Van der Sande came to Tesla after spending his last twelve years with Harley Davidson, the most recent of which as the head of European operations. He's also worked for Nissan, Rolls-Royce and Bentley.

"...Great brands are only created when there is a real and lasting emotional connection between the company and its customers," says van der Sande. "In the Roadster, we have a car that is way ahead of any other electric production car on the market. In our customers, we have advocates and enthusiasts who want Tesla to succeed in a challenging economic environment."

$400 million from the U.S. government would help achieve that end.

Source: Tesla Motors - Think