Speaking in reaction to the VW Group’s announcement at the Geneva motor show that it would invest heavily in electric and autonomous car technology up to 2025, including developing a 500km (310-mile) range family car that can be charged in 15 minutes, but which won’t cost more than a conventionally-engine car, Knirsch said: “There are things we can learn from Silicon Valley, but also things they could learn from us.”
At the show, VW Group boss Matthias Müller said the company should “think more like Tesla”. In reaction, Knirsch said: “The point about learning from Tesla is increasingly less relevant in some ways: in Silicon Valley terms they are not considered fast moving or risk takers, and less so as they have to invest in manufacturing facilities and focus on profits. They are becoming more conventional in those ways.
“It’s also true that in some areas we are going very fast. Our MMI infotainment screen systems are leading the way, and we are working with leaders like Nvidia and Harmann to put systems in our cars that can have the hardware updated every few years. In a very short space of time, we have shown we can be agile on electronics; the key for us is to be more agile in every area.”