Elon Musk made an unexpected visit at a Volkswagen AG conference, speaking to 200 executives on the German company's pivot to electric vehicles, his management style, and supply chain and production challenges. Tesla Inc.'s CEO participated in a video conference at the invitation of Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess, in an unusual gesture by a business titan addressing a competitor, and even indicated he's certain the German automotive legend can master the transition to electric vehicles.
Volkswagen is attempting to become one of the world's major manufacturers of electric cars under Diess' leadership and has pitted its largest plant against a Tesla factory currently under construction near Berlin. At the conference, he asked his managers to make that change as quickly as feasible. Tesla is more agile than other automakers, according to Elon Musk, because of his managerial style, in which he is first and foremost an engineer who is interested in distribution networks, logistics, and manufacturing processes.
According to Diess, Tesla's management of the global chip scarcity was amazing because it was able to swap to new processors using software it built in about two to three weeks. In a Linkedin post, Diess wrote that they need new thinking at Volkswagen AG to take on the new competition. It takes immense pleasure to learn that even their most powerful opponent believes they will succeed in the transition if they push the transformation with full force.