VW CEO: Latest self-driving car investment will let us ‘beat Tesla’ – Business Insider – Business Insider

  • Volkswagen is increasingly transparent about how it plans to catch Tesla’s lead in electric vehicles.
  • In a conference call Monday with analysts and investors, its CEO outlined an increased and accelerated investment into its electric powertrain and software development. 
  • “The commitment, the investments, and the industrialization plans are there to beat Tesla,” Herbert Diess said on the call. 
  • Volkswagen’s first true Tesla competitor, the ID.4, will hit the North American market next year. 
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Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess has been perhaps the most outspoken automotive executive when it comes to the industry’s elephant in the room.

For years, the German has expressed a mixture of admiration and competitive attitude for Tesla. But as Elon Musk’s automaker closes in on opening a factory in VW’s backyard in Berlin, his tone seems to be shifting.

“Everything is set up to become, on the technological basis, competitive with Tesla,” Diess said on a conference call Monday regarding the automaker’s five-year investment plans, according to a transcript accessed through Sentieo. 

By 2025, VW is planning a fully electric flagship car for most of its brands including Audi, Bentley, and Porsche. That’s on top of VW’s ID.3, which is already in production, and an ID.4 set to target the mass-market American SUV segment next year. It’s all part of a 73 billion euro investment in its electric powertrain and software development, announced Monday.

“We have more different body styles and more brands,” Diess continued. “And