Volkswagen’s Plan To “Kill Off Tesla” Ain’t Happening — But We Need Volkswagen EVs To Succeed

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The Wall Street Journal has published an article detailing how Volkswagen’s plan to beat Tesla “short-circuited,” and pointed out that this plan involved spending almost $50 billion up to the launch of the ID.3 last year. Unfortunately, the new ID.3, the article noted, didn’t arrive as initially intended and advertised. Sure, it could perform the driving functions of a nice vehicle, but the technology that VW promised just wasn’t there.

The article noted that the tech features were “either absent or broken.” That lovely display that was supposed to project the speed and other data onto the windshield didn’t work, and early owners have been reporting hundreds of other software issues.

Barely two years ago, the Financial Times published an article with the headline “Volkswagen’s plan to kill off Tesla.” The article noted that VW was going to be putting €30 billion into electric cars in the following 5 years. The crux of this investment was the MEB platform, which is a skateboard chassis that was designed specifically for EVs instead of fossil fuel vehicles.

Johannes Buchmann, manager of FEV Consulting, spoke about how VW prized this platform. “This platform is the heart and soul of everything Volkswagen is doing in the future for passenger cars,” he said. “It’s not just a design principle, a template for their new cars. It has an impact on the whole organization, supply chain, and manufacturing quality — pretty much everything.” The article noted that the risks of VW putting all of its money on this one bet was “legion” and that if its EV doesn’t become mainstream, then the company will have billions in losses.

Tesla’s Not Dead — But VW’s Success At Making A Good EVs Is Critical

I think viewing VW’s investment in EVs as a plan to kill Tesla is a mistake. The term “Tesla killer” was coined by mainstream media I believe, and putting that type of energy out there really isn’t healthy for any of the companies involved. And it paints VW as a failure now when, in reality, it is also simply learning new things.

I also think that it’s pretty awesome for VW to put that much money into EVs, and although it could end up with billions of losses, as the article in FT pointed out, I think that VW can learn from its mistakes and succeed. Also, we haven’t seen yet how far VW will get by 2023. The foundation has been set. We may see much more from VW in the next few years than many expect.

For a legacy automaker to put a large amount of money into making EVs is pretty remarkable, and although I support Tesla, I also support EVs in general. We need EVs to be successful.

I mean, if VW was to see phenomenal success with its EVs to the point that the company makes more money selling EVs than fossil fuel vehicles, what do you think is going to happen? VW will most likely discontinue its fossil fuel vehicles. We are a long way away from that today, but VW is an ally — it’s not a Tesla killer, and it’s not even a Tesla enemy.

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Johnna Crider

Johnna owns less than one share of $TSLA currently and supports Tesla's mission. She also gardens, collects interesting minerals and can be found on TikTok

Johnna Crider has 1996 posts and counting. See all posts by Johnna Crider