VW Says It Will Fight Tesla, Even With Tesla Already Flying High

The fight is on.

On Wednesday, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess took the stage at Tesla’s reopening to talk about the future of the competition.

Diess offered a glimpse of what’s coming from VW, including an electric heavy truck in 2021, self-driving cars and a new electric truck. Volkswagen also plans to launch a competitor to Tesla’s Model Y family of compact, electric vehicles starting in 2019.

“Tesla is not our only competitor. We have a long way to go, but we think it will be possible,” Diess said at the presentation.

Those who have seen the new VW MEB truck in development say the vehicle bears a striking resemblance to the Tesla Model Y. The difference is that VW’s vehicle is considerably bigger. There is also no pushback in the industry on Tesla’s proven, state-of-the-art autonomous driving technology.

“It’s clear the Model Y is more competition for us in a space that is currently very competitive. But on the other hand the situation we see today is extremely favorable,” Diess said.

Unlike Tesla’s ultra-fast delivery times for its all-electric vehicles, VW offers its customers additional days for delivery.

“We didn’t force on our customers one day more after they have ordered their vehicles,” Diess said.

VW has invested $44 billion in electric vehicles through 2022 and plans to ship 75,000 electric vehicles per year by 2025.

“We have to follow the consumer market where they need new products. Our people need new products and this is one of the core engines of our business. It has been the core engine since its birth,” Diess said.

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