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Tesla and VW Friendship and The Partnership Prospects

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Tesla and Volkswagen are friendly rivals, they are unlikely to become partners despite the camaraderie between Elon Musk and Herbert Diess. You can be friendly with someone without engaging.

In September when Tesla CEO Elon Musk visited Giga Berlin factory, on the way back his plane at Braunschweig Airport where he met with the VW's chairman Herbert Diess and together with him test drove VW's new ID.3 electric vehicle.

Torque News has welcomed the friendly relations between rival leaders, like the Tesla CEO Elon Musk and VW chairman Herbert Diess, who also advertise their mutual respect. While at time some people, including Torque News, thought that this particular meeting may lead to some deal or a partnership, Herbert Diess later wrote that no deal was discussed between Tesla and VW. “Just to be clear: We just drove the ID.3 and had a chat - there is no deal/cooperation in the making,” Diess posted on Linkedin shortly after the meeting.

Charles Morris has published an interesting article on Evannex.com discussing a couple of good arguments against the likelihood of seeing a Tesla-powered Volkswagen, Audi, or Porsche on the Autobahn anytime soon. For one thing, it’s been tried before.

For example, Daimler in 2008 and Toyota in 2010 already did have some partnerships with Tesla. "However, as Tesla grew, the major automakers began to see it as a competitor, and quietly ended their cooperation with the company. The Daimler and Toyota EVs were compliance cars that the companies sold in small volumes and discontinued after a couple of years. Both firms developed their own sources of batteries and terminated all ties with Tesla. Both realized enormous profits when they sold their stakes," Morris writes.

He also notes that "Around the world, car buyers tend to be loyal to their local brands, but Tesla’s brand is a monster, and beating it will require convincing consumers that the home team’s offering is a better vehicle (not a rebadged version of the same thing). Let’s put it this way: German car buyers will happily choose an Audi or a Porsche over a Tesla if they’re convinced that it contains better technology, preferably locally-developed.

"It’s also worth noting—and Elon would surely agree—that the best cars are designed as integrated systems, in which all the components are optimized to work together. Dropping a Tesla battery pack or motor into a VW or an Audi doesn’t sound like the best way to build a world-class vehicle."

Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded TorqueNews.com 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.