The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

VW CEO: Tesla Among Our Top Competitors

August 07, 2017, by Jack Roberts - Also by this author

In an interview with VW's Inside magazine, CEO Herbert Diess said Tesla is the company's main competitor today. Photo: Volkswagen
In an interview with VW's Inside magazine, CEO Herbert Diess said Tesla is the company's main competitor today. Photo: Volkswagen

In a sign of changing times, Volkswagen’s CEO has identified his company’s chief competitor today – and it’s not who you think.

VW chief executive Herbert Diess, in an interview published on the automaker’s homepage, said that in the “old world,” the competition was Toyota, Hyundai and French OEMs. In today’s new world, however, he has his eyes firmly fixed on Tesla.

And while he was talking about cars, his points about staying on top of "disruptive" technologies and emerging competitors are revelant to trucks as well. Of course, VW also makes commercial trucks – and has a stake in Navistar International in the U.S.

At first glance, Diess’ concerns seem unfounded: Volkswagen sold over 5 million vehicles last year, while Tesla only sold 83,922. But, Diess said, "Tesla belongs among the competitors which has abilities that we currently do not have. Around half of Tesla's engineers are software experts, while at VW's core brand it is a much lower proportion," Diess said. "Tesla has good electric motors, a fast charging network, autonomous driving technology, internet connectivity, and a new approach toward vehicle distribution.”

The lesson, Diess said, is that VW needs to improve its operations by measuring up against Tesla with the goal of catching up to, and overtaking, the electric vehicle manufacturer.

Diess also noted the emerging importance of connected vehicles in the interview, noting that VW’s new Modular Electrification Toolkit is currently undergoing development across the company’s entire brand offerings. “Our electric vehicles of the future will, just like smartphones, always be online and updatable,” Diess said. “Making a success of this new vehicle architecture is a huge endeavor, one that can secure our future in the new automotive world.”

Twitter Facebook Google+

Comments

Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:
 
 

Fleet Incentives

Determine the actual cost of owning and running a vehicle in your fleet. Compare vehicles by class and model.

FleetFAQ

Fleet Tracking And Telematics

Todd Ewing from Fleetmatics will answer your questions and challenges

View All

 

Fleet Management And Leasing

Merchants Experts will answer your questions and challenges

View All

 

Sponsored by

Universal fleet cards offer fleets optimized fuel data management and give broad station access. A universal fuel card usually is used only for fuel; however, in recent years, controls have been added to allow use at repair shops for a limited number of repairs or limited dollar amount.

Read more

Alternative Fuel Locator

Use the Alternative Fuel Locator to find stations near you.

Launch Alternative Fuel Locator

Up Next

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher