Volkswagen seeks ‘revolution’ to take on Tesla in EV business
Volkswagen is set to renew its efforts and aim to be the largest EV maker in Europe after its CEO Herbert Diess made a clarion call on Thursday to prepare for the 'revolution' to take on market leader Tesla and other Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers.
"In the new automotive world, we are faced with competition the likes of which Volkswagen has never seen before. Today is the right moment for the VW revolution." Diess said in a speech at the carmaker's flagship plant in Wolfsburg.
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Earlier too, the carmaker had admitted that Tesla has an upper hand as far as production speed of its electric vehicles are concerned vis-a-vis other carmakers in the European market. Tesla's upcoming Berlin Gigafactory in Germany plans to produce a vehicle in 10 hours. This is three times quicker than what Volkswagen takes to produce one electric car at its main electric car factory in Zwickau.
The German auto giant, whose 12 brands include Audi, Porsche and Skoda, has invested 35 billion euros into the shift to electric vehicles and aims to become the world's largest electric carmaker by 2025.
Volkswagen's "revolution for Wolfsburg" is part of its "Trinity" project which includes a new battery-powered line at the Wolfsburg facility. It is expected to start from 2026 after restructuring. "I want your children and grandchildren to have a secure job here in Wolfsburg in 2030," Diess told employees, calling on them to make Volkswagen "ready for the future".
Diess' remarks come at a time when Volkswagen is facing controversy over possible job cuts at the Wolfsburg facility due to the restructuring. During a supervisory board meeting held last month, Diess reportedly said that in order to speed up its electric vehicles game to catch up with Tesla, the company may let go 30,000 workers. While the carmaker denied the reports, it had admitted that the Wolfsburg facility in Germany needs to scale up to meet its EV requirements.
Volkswagen's executive board will present their "Vision 2030" for the Wolfsburg plant at a meeting of the supervisory board on December 9. Volkswagen has unveiled its much-awaited ID.5 this week, the next EV from the German auto major bearing an ID badge.