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Elon Musk speaks surprisingly to Volkswagen CEOs | 10/17/21

DÜSSELDORF (Dow Jones) — Elon Musk, founder of US electric car maker Tesla, spoke to VW executives at a conference in Alpbach, Austria Thursday night. Handelsblatt learned this from the participants. Musk was played at the invitation of VW President Herbert Diess via video from Tesla’s headquarters in Texas. Since the Gigafactory was built near Berlin, Tesla has been Volkswagen’s biggest competitor when it comes to e-mobility.

The Tesla boss found words of praise for the Volkswagen group: “Volkswagen is an icon,” he said. “I’ve driven different Volkswagen and Porsche 911 models for a long time.” When asked why Tesla is so much faster than the automaker, Musk said, “It’s the management style. I’m basically an engineer, and besides the car, I’m fascinated by supply chains, transportation and production.”

Musk doesn’t worry about Volkswagen’s continued existence. In an interview with Des, he confidently stated that the company would master change. He sees the Wolfsburg-based company as his biggest competitor. But even though Tesla is much faster and more productive than other car companies, Musk still isn’t moving fast enough. “Despite all the successes, we have to get better,” said the Tesla chief.

With the call, the head of VW Diess must appeal to his managers. “The gap is growing. They are getting faster. They are delivering. They are getting better at building cars. They are the only brand that is growing despite Covid. They have a fully connected fleet around the world. We have to accept this competition.”

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DJG / hab

(end) Dow Jones Newswires

Oct 17, 2021 06:09 am ET (10:09 GMT)