Elon Musk made a surprising visit to a video conference when Volkswagen had gathered 200 employees for a management meeting in Alpbach, Austria.
Musk was invited by Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess, who wants to make the Volkswagen Group more prepared for changes to get over to electric cars faster.
Want less bureaucracy
At the meeting, Musk praised the German car giant for being an icon and Tesla’s biggest challenger, writes the German newspaper Handelsblatt.
When asked why Tesla is more agile than its competitors, Musk believes that it comes from his leadership style and that he is first and foremost an engineer who closely monitors supply chains, logistics and production.
Diess writes in a post on Linkedin that Musk was a surprise guest to drill into the point that the group needs faster decisions and less bureaucracy to achieve what he refers to the biggest transformation in Volkswagen’s history.
“Glad to hear that even our strongest competitor believes that we will succeed in the transition if we drive the transformation with full force,” writes Diess on Linkedin.
Continues the dialogue
As an example of Tesla’s agility, Diess mentioned that it took the competitor only two to three weeks to rewrite the software to switch from one type of microchip to another.
According to Reuters, Diess also wrote a tweet on Saturday that Volkswagen will continue the dialogue with Tesla.
“We will visit you soon in Gruenheide,” wrote the CEO.
Tesla is still waiting for final building approval for the factory, which will be located outside Berlin. It has been exposed up to several times. While Volkswagen has gone all-in on electric cars and plans to build six large battery factories in Europe by 2030.
Last week, it emerged that Diess has argued for dismissing 30,000 employees in the group during a board meeting at the end of September. Diess addressed how the company will meet the cost challenges that hamper the group’s competitiveness in the ongoing electric car conversion. A spokesman for Volkswagen employees told Reuters that such a large staff cut was “absurd and unfounded”, while Volkswagen refused to comment on what was said at the meeting.