FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA ) boss Elon Musk has addressed 200 Volkswagen (DE: VOWG_p ) executives via a video call after an invitation from the German carmaker's CEO Herbert Diess, who wants to galvanise VW's top brass for a faster pivot to electric vehicles.
The comments on Thursday by Musk to a VW managers gathering in Alpbach, Austria, confirmed by Diess via Twitter (NYSE: TWTR ) https://twitter.com/Herbert_Diess/status/1449333401048293378 on Saturday after a report in Handelsblatt daily, included praise of VW for being an "icon" and Tesla's greatest challenger, Handelsblatt said.
The paper said that when asked by Diess why Tesla was more nimble than its rivals, Musk said it came down to his management style and that he is an engineer, first of all, and has an eye for supply chains, logistics and production.
In a post on Linkedin, Diess added that he had brought in Musk as a "surprise guest" to drive home the point that VW needs faster decisions and less bureaucracy for what he called the biggest transformation in VW's history.
"Happy to hear that even our strongest competitor thinks that we will succeed (in) the transition if we drive the transformation with full power," Diess said on Linkedin.
As an example of Tesla's prowess, Diess said it took the rival only two to three weeks to rewrite software to allow for a switch from one type of microchip, which went out of stock, to another.
Diess said in his Saturday tweet that VW, which has emerged as the main contender to Tesla for global electric vehicle supremacy, would continue its dialogue with Tesla.
"We will visit you soon in Gruenheide," the CEO said.
Diess warned last month that the planned opening of Tesla's car factory at Gruenheide near Berlin, the company's first in Europe, will force local industry to step up its game against the fast-growing U.S. electric vehicle maker.
Tesla is awaiting final building approval for the 5.8 billion euro ($6.8 billion) German site.
VW, in turn, plans to build six large battery factories in Europe by 2030 as part of an all-in bet on electric mobility.
Add Chart to Comment
We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:
- Enrich the conversation
- Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
- Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
- Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
- NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
- Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
- Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
- Only English comments will be allowed.
Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.