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“I wouldn’t consider a stake in Tesla,” the chief executive of Volkswagen told The Observer at the Frankfurt Motor Show. “I wouldn’t buy a stake because I think all they are doing, we can do.”
Herbert Diess was responding to reports that Europe’s largest carmaker was considering taking over Tesla, which surfaced in August, based on information from unnamed sources from Volkswagen.
While an acquisition could make sense, given VW’s attitude to Tesla—succinctly summed up by its CEO—it is rather unlikely. Taking the luxury EV maker head on in the market is far more plausible for the German major.
Indeed, Diess sounds like he can’t wait for the race to begin. “In the long run, I think we might have a bit of an advantage because of scale,” he said, adding “On the hardware side, there is probably not so big a difference because they also have a dedicated electric platform and they’re quite big already for an EV manufacturer.”
VW showcased one own-brand EV at the FMS this week, and one electric Porsche. According to The Observer’s Sissi Cao, the two models can be seen as a direct challenge to two of Tesla’s flagships, the affordable Model 3 and the Model S. How the ID3 and the Porsche Taycan will square against Tesla’s models remains to be seen.
In any case, the rollout of more electric cars is likely to put additional pressure on Tesla, even though it already has a fan base that most other carmakers can only dream about. So far, the luxury carmaker has been alone in its segment. Now, it has entered the affordable EV segment at a time when its potential rivals are becoming actual rivals with their own EV lines. While a VW acquisition of Tesla will likely remain a rumor only, the race between the two would be interesting to watch.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.