VW CEO Herbert Diess has sworn his top management circle to increasingly tough competition with Tesla. The headquarters in Wolfsburg also had to “become more efficient, faster,” said the chairman of the board at an internal conference in Alpbach, Austria, according to a group of participants. He confirmed that this would initially have no direct consequences for the bodies. “When I think of Wolfsburg, I don’t have job cuts in mind,” Diess emphasized on Thursday. “It’s not about that. It’s about how we work together. We need a new way of thinking. It’s not just about the brand (VW), but also about the group. It’s about Wolfsburg.”
On Wednesday, speculation about a possible imminent cancellation of tens of thousands of jobs at Europe’s largest automaker caused a stir. The group management then made it clear that there were no plans for specific, further cuts in the drawer – the tense cost situation and capacity utilization of some locations would have to be discussed intensively. The current idle due to the supply crisis for microchips, Volkswagen’s earnings targets and the growing rivalry with Tesla also play a role. The US competitor plans to manufacture the first electric cars in its factory near Berlin soon.
“I know some of you hate that,” Diess said at the meeting of around 200 executives and other managers from China who were connected via video. “But first and foremost, it’s Tesla. The gap is increasing. They are getting faster. They are delivering. They are getting better at building cars. They are the only brand that is growing despite Covid. They have a fully connected fleet around the world. We have to accept this competition. ” (dpa / swi)
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