Herbert Diess says he admires Elon Musk's EV start-up, but says 'all they are doing, we can do'
Rachel Burgess
10 September 2019

Volkswagen Group boss Herbert Diess has said he would not consider buying a stake in Tesla.

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.”

Frankfurt motor show 2019: live news and updates

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.”

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Ford Focus RS 2019 road test review - hero front
    23 September 2019
    Car review
    Is Ford’s AWD mega-hatch as special as we first thought? And can the Focus RS...
  • Honda Civic Type R 2019 road test review - hero front
    23 September 2019
    Car review
    Honda’s hottest hatch yet is quick on a track - but just how well rounded is...
  • Audi Q5 55 TFSIe quattro front three quarters on the road
    20 September 2019
    First Drive
    Plug-in SUV is compellingly fast and well rounded. Take advantage of the...

Join the debate

Comments
14

10 September 2019

VW ‘We want to buy a stake of your company’

Tesla ‘We aren’t selling you any’

Some time later...

VW ‘We didn’t want it any way’ 

10 September 2019

Tesla isn't in control over who buys their company. They have 75 % freefloat, meaning anybody can buy them simply by purchasing shares at the stock exchange. All they really need is 10 billion to become the biggest shareholder.

10 September 2019

Sensible chap, Herbert Diess. Tesla might be close to making a profit, but their debt levels are so astronomic that I can't see how it can possibly be repaid. And saying that "I think all they are doing, we can do" indicates that he thinks Tesla has less of a technology moat around its cars than many people think.

10 September 2019

Agreed, what would VW get out of the deal besides being saddled with Tesla's debt?

11 September 2019

The best BEV's on the market that sell in the 100 of thousands.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

11 September 2019

Wonder where the smart money should have been over the last 3 years?

Tesla - $200 now $236

BMW 73 Euros now 64 Euros

Daimler 63 Euros now 47 Euros.

 

 

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

11 September 2019

Maybe, you should... erm... do it, then?

 

And Tesla going bankrupt is still very much possible. If/When they do, VW and everybody else will be more than willing to pick up the scraps.

 

 

11 September 2019

Good to see people are finally realizing just how far ahead Tesla are. When existing German companies say "I think all they are doing, we can do..." 'eventually' is an admission that Tesla are actually pretty good, something some people just can't admit.

Just look at the Taycan, brand new it statistics still don't stack up against an 8 year old Model S design that sells for £40k less.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

11 September 2019

The question is: is pretty good good enough? For EVs, they are good. But for what people want in a car? Not so much.

11 September 2019

The question is: is pretty good good enough? For EVs, they are good. But for what people want in a car? Not so much.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Ford Focus RS 2019 road test review - hero front
    23 September 2019
    Car review
    Is Ford’s AWD mega-hatch as special as we first thought? And can the Focus RS...
  • Honda Civic Type R 2019 road test review - hero front
    23 September 2019
    Car review
    Honda’s hottest hatch yet is quick on a track - but just how well rounded is...
  • Audi Q5 55 TFSIe quattro front three quarters on the road
    20 September 2019
    First Drive
    Plug-in SUV is compellingly fast and well rounded. Take advantage of the...