TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

VW CEO Says Automaker Can 'Probably Overtake' Tesla 'At Some Stage'

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by TMC Staff, Jan 24, 2020.

  1. TMC Staff

    Joined:
    May 19, 2017
    Messages:
    869
    “We’re quite optimistic that we still can keep the pace with Tesla.” According to a recent article in Automotive News, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess “is sending a message to Elon Musk: We are coming for Tesla.” However, that’s not exactly what the CEO said. Diess and VW have been targeting the EV market and...
    READ FULL ARTICLE
     
  2. MichaelP90DL

    MichaelP90DL Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2019
    Messages:
    1,009
    Location:
    Lancaster, CA
    All of this, from compliance EVs, to Tesla's innovation and phenomenal growth, to ICE manufacturers ignoring the EV threat, to ICE automakers' efforts to suddenly innovate (or copy) in an attempt to catch Tesla and save themselves, to whatever happens over the next several years, will be studied in business classes for the next century. We are living in a revolutionary moment. Oh, the stories that will be forthcoming. I hope I live long enough to learn them.
     
    • Like x 2
  3. M3BlueGeorgia

    M3BlueGeorgia Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2018
    Messages:
    904
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Really interesting the change in the attitude from the legacy automobile manufacturers from "Tesla will flame out" to "we think we can catch up with them eventually".
     
    • Like x 5
  4. Vsasson

    Vsasson Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2016
    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Hackensack
    VW is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, automaker in the world, but unfortunately, it has earned a reputation for dishonesty -- the so-called clean diesel scandal and the billions of dollars of fines. On top of that, it is a German company burdened with the legacy of Hitler and World War II. And most VWs are downright ugly -- nowhere near the style of a Tesla.

    No one can challenge Tesla unless they build sophisticated EVs -- AND invest in a worldwide fast-charging network for owners; Tesla is the only EV maker that had done so, and it is an integral part of the company's success.
     
    • Love x 1
  5. MrAustraliaTax

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2015
    Messages:
    252
    Location:
    Melbourne
    At a meet-up of all the vW Beetles ever made (21,000,000), a strident Tesla owner said "your cars are ugly".

    Beetle owner 1: " Did you hear something"
    Beetle owner 2: "Nope"

    Another meet-up across the road of the 11,000,000 VW branded vehicles delivered in 2019 was gatecrashed by the 100,000 Teslas delivered in 2019, where the Tesla owners chanted that "your cars stink".

    VW owner 1: "Did you hear something"
    VW owner 2: "Nope"


    For those that consider Tesla invincible - remember VisiCalc? or Lotus 1-2-3? They were invincible too.


    and ps - as counterpoint to the above: For all the talk about the Tesla killers coming from the mainstream manufacturers, no one has produced an EV that is anywhere near as much fun to drive as my P85DL and I've been wearing the Tesla grin for 5 years now.
     
    • Like x 1
    • Funny x 1
  6. dfwatt

    dfwatt Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2018
    Messages:
    1,488
    Location:
    FL
    #6 dfwatt, Jan 27, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
    It's telling that he initially restricts his claim to the less ambitious target of "keeping pace" as opposed to "passing Tesla" although he later states that maybe at some point VW could "overtake" Tesla. Pigs could fly too I suppose, with large enough wings.

    If the very overweight and underperforming Audi E Tron is any indication, the gap between Tesla and VW group which is right now humongous by any technical standard except simple total vehicle sales numbers is going to get bigger rather than smaller. The only way in which the E Tron is better than any Tesla is interior quality and probably also overall quality control. But it's behind in range, charging network availability, performance, handling, styling/cache value, and most especially value for the dollar. Their total sales for 2019 was barely 5000 units. That's roughly the average number of Model 3s Tesla is pumping out of the United States in one week.

    And while the Porsche Taycan Turbo S is a great performing car, in its Turbo S form it costs almost $190,000, so its natural price competitor is not the model S but rather the new Tesla Roadster, which will outperform it by a huge margin. In relationship to the Tesla S Raven, that costs a bit over half the top Taycan's price, in its upcoming Plaid drivetrain form, we have to assume that the Taycan will probably be outperformed by the Tesla S also. And the Taycan Turbo S gets 200 miles in the EPA testing, while the Raven gets 370? For an Uber-competitive outfit such as Porsche, that's just plain embarrassing. It illustrates that Tesla's lead is not simply based on starting earlier, it's also based on having elite technical talent and vision. So the notion that VW is "keeping pace" is just, well, frankly wishful thinking if not quasi-delusional.

    As a critical index of utility in the United States, the VW group supercharging network doesn't really exist yet, except in a very skeletal form, and although Level II chargers are common, you can't use those on trips unless you want to wait for 6 to 8 hours to charge your vehicle. As a clear index of how far behind they are In terms of the critical infrastructure of fast charging, the ChargePoint charging station map dos not (yet) clearly discriminate between lower powered 30 amp 240 V stations (roughly equivalent to what your EMC can do on a 14-50 circuit), and those capable of at least a 100 kW charging rate.

    The gap is about to get bigger as Tesla applies advancements in battery technology to the next generation vehicles (including particularly dry electrode tech?), but probably other innovations as well. When people talk about "catching Tesla" they often sound as though they see Tesla as a stationary target. But Tesla keeps moving the goalposts. I believe that the gap in the coming 10 years will be just as great if not greater than it is now.
     
    • Like x 4
  7. jboy210

    jboy210 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2016
    Messages:
    2,516
    Location:
    Northern California
    They will catch Tesla when they stop making ICE vehicles, or at least the majority of their are EVs. Until then their profit will comes from ICE vehicles and shareholders will not accept a CEO that does not deliver profits.
     
    • Like x 2
  8. dfwatt

    dfwatt Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2018
    Messages:
    1,488
    Location:
    FL
    #8 dfwatt, Jan 27, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
    Curious what makes you so confident that they will catch Tesla? Keep in mind this is the same group that doctored emissions tests because they couldn't pass those EPA tests at their targeted performance and economy levels.

    Have you ever driven an Audi e-tron? And compared it to even the model 3? I have, it's not even close. While it has a great interior, the Audi is a dog compared to the model 3. Both in performance, and in range, and by the way the Audi costs roughly twice as much.
     
  9. jboy210

    jboy210 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2016
    Messages:
    2,516
    Location:
    Northern California
    VW has the engineering might and the money to catch and surpass Tesla. And Tesla has it own issues starting with the its service operations and manufacturing QA. And this seems to be Tesla wide and extends to areas like their Solar products.

    As the owner of a Model X, 3 LR, and soon SolarGlass roof I like their cars and tech but they need to fix their issues. If Tesla does not older companies will match and these other service and QA will come to the forefront when making a buying decision.
     
    • Like x 3
  10. dfwatt

    dfwatt Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2018
    Messages:
    1,488
    Location:
    FL
    No argument that Tesla has particularly communication and quality control issues to clean up. However their lead in relationship to Battery Technology and software is not something that the VW group is going to overcome easily, if at all. Lots of people have been predicting that the open quotes serious auto manufacturers would quickly catch Tesla once they got open quotes serious. I predict that the range and performance gaps will not close, and will only increase in the coming 10 years. That's my wager.
     
    • Like x 1
  11. ac_power

    ac_power Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2019
    Messages:
    118
    Location:
    Arizona
    To be fair, E-Tron should be compared to the future Model Y I guess, not Model 3.
    But even w/o side-by-side comparison, it's a heavy boring overpriced grocery hauler. And they're marketing it as direct replacement to gas version as far as I see, talking about "downshifting", switching driving modes, etc., while this all is purely virtual for EVs and only complicates the experience. You need to push 3 different buttons just to make it driving.
    Not even talking about the range.
     
  12. dfwatt

    dfwatt Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2018
    Messages:
    1,488
    Location:
    FL
    Yes for sure the model Y is the more natural competitor in the crossover / sport utility vehicle body type. And no one in their right mind would choose that over a properly outfitted model Y. The top performance model will be cheaper than the etron, while outperforming it and out ranging it. The only thing the etron has going for it is the Audi cachet value which is meaningful in some quarters, and a nicer interior!
     
  13. jboy210

    jboy210 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2016
    Messages:
    2,516
    Location:
    Northern California
    Being an Audi is the purpose of the etron. It is a stop gap car designed to buy Audi time. Much the way the Taycan is for Porsche. And both will probably work, because owners of both brands tend to buy the same brand over and over without too much consideration of other brands. Almost as much as Ford, Dodge, or Chevy truck buyers, which boarder on religious extremes.
     
  14. Sully151

    Sully151 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2019
    Messages:
    80
    Location:
    Santa Margarita, CA
    Bring the Bus to market and we will see how they sell.

    Of course they are still a couple of years away on that.
     
  15. TechOps

    TechOps Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2017
    Messages:
    151
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    "optimistic" . . "that we still can keep the pace". .

    I believe this is a nervous German's way of expressing his fear. As we know, they are not at pace. They are slower, and far behind. He is really thinking about whether they can ever catch up. He's saying they *hope* with all their engineering talent and large organization, and ICE revenues, they can figure out how to some day catch Tesla "at some stage," but they're really not sure.

    I'm sure after he said "We're coming for Tesla," he laughed nervously. The CEO is trying to project confidence to his shareholders.

    I just bought a little more TSLA stock today after reading this article.
     
    • Like x 2
  16. cucubits

    cucubits Active Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2019
    Messages:
    1,115
    Location:
    TX
    I think their mistake was starting with an SUV. Had they started with something like the e-tron GT maybe we'd be seeing different results. I for one would absolutely be fine giving up a couple seconds from the 0-60 time for an audi build and ride quality.
     
  17. dfwatt

    dfwatt Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2018
    Messages:
    1,488
    Location:
    FL
    #17 dfwatt, Jan 29, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
    No argument on Tesla needing to improve both their communication and quality control. However your basic point is kind of what people have been saying about Tesla since they started in 2012 with the model S. "It's only a matter of time before the serious auto manufacturers with all their deep reservoir of talent and unlimited amounts of money catch Tesla." If I could get a dollar for every time I've heard that overconfident prediction, I could afford the new Tesla solar roof!

    Well, that notion that the "serious" auto manufacturers are going to close the gap soon looks increasingly unlikely. Tesla's lead since 2012 has extended significantly. And unlike some other disruptive Technologies where the early leaders were fundamentally arrogant and did not think that they could ever have competition, Elon Musk knows better and Tesla is not standing still. Do they have things they could seriously improve? That's for sure. Are they way out in front and actually stretching their lead with the Model Y, the likely implementation of dry electrode technology, the continuous build out and Improvement of the supercharger Network, Etc? That looks to be true also.
     
    • Like x 1

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


    SUPPORT TMC