It was then quickly denied in an update and now Herbert Diess explained at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show what he really thinks:
“No, I wouldn’t consider a stake in Tesla. I really admire what it has done, which is also helpful for us because it is really pushing us. The cars are nice and I like to drive them.”
“I wouldn’t buy a stake because I think all they are doing, we can do.”
In other words, Diess recognizes Tesla's pioneer role and great products, but as a CEO of Volkswagen Group, stands behind its products.
Interesting is the second part, in which Diess points out that in the long run and at higher scale, Volkswagen Group will be in an advantageous position compared to Tesla:
“In the long run, I think we might have a bit of an advantage because of scale. On the hardware side, there is probably not so big a difference because they are are also have a dedicated electric platform and they’re quite big already for an EV manufacturer.”
“But when it comes to the next big thing, which is software, Tesla is strong in software – but software really is a volume game. If you do software, you have to use ten million devices, not one million.”
We, however, must add that Tesla is the biggest BEV manufacturer globally and it will take quite some time before Volkswagen Group eventually will catch on (even adding all the brands together).
Other than that, Diess is quite warm to Tesla and Elon Musk, wishing him all the best and expecting profitability to be achieved by in the near future.
“I don’t believe that [bankruptcy will happen]. I like Elon quite a lot and I wish him all the best. Tesla is close now to profitability. Probably the biggest challenge is the stretch in category class because the investment is so big.”