It’s not every day that arch-rivals complement each other. Elon Musk and Herbert Diess, CEOs of Tesla and Volkswagen, have been known to frequently pat one other on the back for their companies’ accomplishments in the electric vehicle industry. Both were spotted congratulating each other again after Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess spoke highly of competitor Tesla at a presentation. Tesla is now the world’s largest EV manufacturer, with Volkswagen ranking second. Both automakers are vying for first place.
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During a recent show, Diess applauded Tesla’s recent progress. “We rank second in the globe. Tesla is now well ahead, and they are expanding rapidly, I must confess. He is willing to take more chances than we are. He is now constructing a factory near Berlin. It’s 200 kilometres from our facility, and I believe having a new opponent is beneficial to us,” remarked Diess during the presentation.
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Elon Musk responded to Diess’ compliment by saying, “Diess deserves a lot of credit for accelerating VW’s transition to electrification. They’re fortunate to have him.” Diess responded to Musk on Twitter by writing, “Thank you for always thinking beyond the box, Elon. And for boosting our industry’s market capitalization and assisting in cutting through German red tape.”
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Despite heated rivalry in the EV four-wheeler category, both CEOs have been avid supporters of each other for some time. Diess’s admiration for Tesla and Elon Musk, as well as his drive for electrification across the VW Group, has not gone over well with his workforce. Diess recently sparked outrage when he hinted at big modifications to the company’s infrastructure to produce more electric vehicles. His objective was regarded as a move that may result in job losses. During the broadcast, Diess even accepted it, stating, “Actually, you’re correct. It irritates them.”
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Aside from the friendly rivalry, Tesla and Volkswagen are embroiled in a close fight in the EV industry. Tesla sold 3,10,048 units globally in the first quarter of this year, representing a roughly 70% increase. In comparison to Tesla, Volkswagen sold just 99,100 units, 65% but only approximately one-third of its archrival. Things were a little different last year when Tesla and Volkswagen finished 2021 as the number one and two EVs, respectively.