Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess has surprisingly invited the boss of arch-rival Tesla, Elon Musk, as a speaker to a management meeting. Musk had already spoken via video on Thursday at a VW conference in Alpbach, Austria, reported the “Handelsblatt”, citing groups of participants.
Diess confirmed the appearance on Twitter and announced a return visit to the Tesla plant near Berlin. “We will visit you soon in Grünheide,” said the Volkswagen boss on twitter with.
“With a new mindset & a revolution in our Wolfsburg headquarters, we can follow the new competition. Good meeting with 200 top managers in Alpbach. Great responsibility at a crucial point for our company, ”wrote Diess in his tweet.
According to the newspaper report, Musk praised the German competitor. “Volkswagen is an icon,” said the Tesla founder. “I myself drove various VW models and a Porsche 911 for a long time.”
[Lesen Sie außerdem zum Thema Tesla: Gigaparty mit Chef – Tesla feiert Tag der offenen Tür in Grünheide (T+)]
When asked by Diess why Tesla is so much faster than the automaker, Musk replied: “It’s the management style. First and foremost, I am an engineer and, besides the car, I am fascinated by supply chains, logistics and production processes. “
The head of the electric car pioneer had expressed the expectation that Volkswagen would master the change in the industry. He sees the German group as the greatest challenger.
Rumors of massive job cuts at VW
This has repeatedly driven the Volkswagen employees to make rapid changes so that the car manufacturer can survive in the competition. Most recently, according to insiders, Diess was on the supervisory board, to the supervisory board’s surprise warned of drastic job cuts due to the switch to electric cars.
The number 30,000 has fallen, if not as an announcement of a new plan. The statement triggered sharp protests from the works council. “A reduction of 30,000 jobs – that would be one in four at Volkswagen AG – is absurd and has no basis,” said a works council spokesman. In terms of production, that would be almost half of the jobs.
Volkswagen is already converting the Zwickau, Emden and Hanover locations from combustion to electric cars. The main plant in Wolfsburg is to follow in 2026 with the autonomous electric model Trinity. VW works council chief Daniela Cavallo recently demanded that Wolfsburg must produce a high-volume e-car model as early as 2024 in order to ensure sufficient capacity utilization. (Reuters)