Skip to main content

Herbert Diess Explains The EV Transformation of VW and Passing Tesla


Herbert Diess published a long article discussing how they transform Volkswagen and plan to catch-up with Tesla.

If anyone still doubts the serious commitment of Herbert Diess at VW and the electrification of vehicles, this week has marked a turning point in his efforts to lead the necessary changes in his organization.

Diess also explains how VW wants to catch-up with Tesla. He writes very honestly.

Herbert Diess names the mission to catch-up to Tesla as "Mission-T."

Here is what he writes.

"As a result, we had to tailor Volkswagen’s strategy to keep up with these new competitors. To this end, we organized a second workshop with Professor Malik in April 2020. 31 senior executives from Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche were involved in ‘Mission T’, as it was dubbed. The event revolved around how we can catch up with Tesla – a company focused exclusively on the future, without a traditional car business. Its Silicon Valley-style ecosystem is influenced by software capabilities, focus on technology and risk culture. The workshop was held over three days – under special constraints with masks and social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The opening question was: “What do we have to achieve in the next six months to catch up with Tesla in terms of technology by 2024?”

"The answers we found were to grow software capabilities at an even faster rate, and pool software and hardware resources at Audi under the leadership of Markus Duesmann and the Artemis project, a unit outside the existing corporate structures.

"Why did we need new organizational units? When introducing MEB, the model series, and software organization, we realized that our corporate structures prevent us matching the development speed and capacities of a well-funded and unbureaucratic startup like Tesla, with its far greater risk propensity. The new organizational unit started in October, and made a capable and decisive impression at its first Volkswagen management conference. That was the target we had set in the opening question for the April Syntegration session with Malik.

"I am certain that we will be just as successful in reaching the goals from this year’s Malik workshop as the last. The method’s impact and significance for a successful outcome cannot be underestimated. It creates a shared perspective on the status quo, a shared plan, shared agreements and commitments – all essential for successful implementation, especially in an entity as complex as the Volkswagen Group."

"This is a manifest. Tesla has long been where VW aspires to be. Yet the gap only becomes bigger by the day. Bigger the change, the bigger the resistance at VW. A true Greek tragedy is in the making for Diess and VW. Genuinely hope he will succeed. Alas, odds r greatly against him," writes Twitter user @Alpsoy66.

Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube.

Reference: Herbert Diess Linkedin.