Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess appears to have a healthy relationship with Tesla CEO Elon Musk. In fact, Diess gives Tesla and Musk plenty of credit when it comes to electric cars. He’s said in the past that it will be tough competing with Tesla, though he believes VW Group has some key advantages.
In a new effort outlined by the VW CEO in a recent LinkedIn blog post called “How we transform Volkswagen,” Diess refers to a “Mission T” to compete with Tesla. While the blog post is lengthy and covers plenty of areas, the focus here is using Audi as a transitional leader. Diess aims to task the German luxury brand with developing and sharing software and EV parts for Volkswagen Group’s 12 brands in an effort to better compete with Tesla going forward.
Diess explains that he organized and implemented a November 2015 workshop with 42 VW Group senior executives. The goal was to come up with a list of ways the automaker can better compete with and eventually catch up with Tesla. A second workshop, nicknamed “Mission T” was organized in April 2020. Diess shares that the opening question of the workshop was, “What do we have to achieve in the next six months to catch up with Tesla in terms of technology by 2024?”
The results of the workshop pointed to Volkwagen’s need for a new, highly efficient electric car produced by Audi. However, the goal here is to make the brand function more like a startup, with new organizational units, software capability growth, and the pooling of hardware and software resources across the entire automotive group. Deiss calls this Project Artemis. He believes VW must shift to this new style of a “well-funded and unbureaucratic startup like Tesla” in order to compete with the electric brand’s rapid pace of innovation.
Diess hopes to get a vote of confidence from VW Group’s board, as well as an early extension of his contract, which isn’t set to expire until 2023. As always, leave us your insight in the comment section below.