Will “Mission T” Help Volkswagen Catch Tesla?

The head of the Volkswagen Group Herbert Diess, discussed his plan to “catch up with Tesla” or “Mission T” in a recently released blog post. 

Diess formerly worked for BMW as head of purchasing for the Munich-based firm, then oversaw research and development. Diess came to Volkswagen in 2015 and began his efforts to reform the company.

Now, in a new blog post called “How we transform Volkswagen,” Diess elaborated on the progress he and his team have made towards its reform. 

Diess has been vocal about believing “it is going to be a race with Tesla” when it comes to the Volkswagen’s electrification plan and electric vehicles. In order to keep up with Tesla, the CEO revealed that Volkswagen needed new unbureaucratic organizational units and introduced a workshop he created called “Mission T” in hopes of catching up with the California-based automaker.

“As a result, we had to tailor Volkswagen’s strategy to keep up with these new competitors. To this end, we organized a second workshop with Professor Malik in April 2020. 31 senior executives from Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche were involved in ‘Mission T,’ as it was dubbed. The event revolved around how we can catch up with Tesla — a company focused exclusively on the future, without a traditional car business. Its Silicon Valley-style ecosystem is influenced by software capabilities, focus on technology and risk culture. The workshop was held over three days — under special constraints with masks and social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The opening question was: ‘What do we have to achieve in the next six months to catch up with Tesla in terms of technology by 2024?’

Diess also used the blog post to explain how he has adjusted his management style to adapt to Volkswagen. Amid these revelations, German reports claim Diess is currently looking for a vote of confidence from Volkswagen’s board to advance his contract extension which is not supposed to take place until 2023.

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