Recent reports suggested that VW was eyeing an investment in the groundbreaking but controversial American EV firm.
Speaking at the Frankfurt motor show, where the firm launched the ID 3 electric hatch, Diess said: “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 [in electrification]. The cars are nice and I like to drive them.
“It’s a brave move to come into automotive because it means such high investment.”
He added: “I wouldn’t buy a stake because I think all they are doing, we can do.”
Diess said that he believed VW will utlimate have an edge over 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.”
When asked if Diess would consider buying Tesla if it became bankrupt, he commented: “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.”