VW’s Diess can’t get Tesla out of his head

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Posted: August 9, 2017

The German infatuation with all things Tesla continues. Last month, Volkswagen brand chief Herbert Diess  said, “We see Volkswagen as the company that can stop Tesla, because we have abilities Tesla doesn’t have today.” But last week he conceded that Tesla is the brand’s biggest competitor.

The two statements are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Diess is inspired by the fact that Tesla is abounding with software experts, is invested heavily in autonomous, electric and connectivity — the industry hot buttons — and is taking a new approach to selling cars to the public.

Diess, like a lot of chiefs of traditional brands and companies, appears openly envious. “We measure ourselves against Tesla quite deliberately. Our goal: Using our abilities not just to catch up, but even to overtake,” he said last week.

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