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Volkswagen Denies It’s Interested In Buying Stake In Tesla

One of the world’s largest carmakers, Germany’s Volkswagen AG, denied on Thursday a report that its chief executive officer was interested in buying a stake in Tesla in order to have access to the electric vehicle maker’s battery and software technologies.

“The speculation about buying a stake in Tesla made by Manager Magazin is without merit,” a spokesman for Volkswagen told Reuters in a written statement, after Germany’s Manager Magazin had reported earlier that CEO Herbert Diess “would go in right away if he could” buy a stake in Tesla.

According to Manager Magazin, a stake in the U.S. electric cars maker would help Volkswagen to have access to Tesla’s software engineering and battery technology.

Tesla has so far declined Volkswagen’s advances to form some kind of alliance, Manager Magazin also reported.

Tesla’s shares jumped on NASDAQ at the start of trading on Thursday after the German magazine’s report, but then pared gains after Volkswagen rebuffed the report.

Volkswagen, for its part, is betting big on electric vehicles and e-mobility with a war chest of around US$50 billion to challenge Tesla, which, for the time being seems unfazed by the increasingly crowded EV market.

Three years after the diesel emissions scandal, Volkswagen said last November that it would invest US$48.7 billion (44 billion euro) on e-mobility, autonomous driving, new mobility services, and digitalization in vehicles and at plants through 2023. This investment would represent around one third of all expenditure for the 2019-2023 period that Volkswagen has planned.  

“The transformation of the Volkswagen brand is in full swing. We are making excellent progress in the areas of digitalisation of our company and the electrification of our models,” Ralf Brandstätter, chief operating officer of the Volkswagen brand, said at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year.

Volkswagen’s motto is “electric cars for millions, not for millionaires,” chief executive Diess says.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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