Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess has commented several times that it will be a “tight race” to overtake Tesla and become the global electric vehicle (EV) sales leader by 2025. However in new comments to employees today, Diess expects the opening of Tesla’s two new Gigafactories to be their window of opportunity to do so.
While speaking to employees at the automaker’s headquarters on Tuesday in Wolfsburg, Germany, Diess pulled a page out of Elon Musk’s playbook and used a meme to explain how ramping production at Giga Berlin and Giga Texas, while also expanding production at Giga Shanghai, will weaken Tesla and give them the chance of overtaking Tesla by 2025.
“Elon must simultaneously ramp up two highly complex factories in Austin and Grünheide [near Berlin] — and expand production in Shanghai. That will cost him strength,” Diess said (via Financial Times)
The meme Diess used was a photo of Superman actor Henry Cavill, with a Tesla logo on his chest, about to be tackled by Aquaman actor Jason Mamoa with the VW logo on his chest. The image was captioned “In 2025 we can take the lead!”
Tesla currently holds a sizeable lead over VW, but Diess expects that gap to shrink in 2022 now that their EV factory in Zwickau is running at full capacity and its factories in China have reopened after COVID-related closures.
Diess’ comments come after a recent analysis by Bloomberg Intelligence that predicted VW will be able to overtake Tesla by 2024, one year ahead of the VW CEO’s prediction. Diess was also likely capitalizing on Musk’s comments in an interview with Tesla Owners Silicon Valley last week in which he said Giga Berlin and Giga Texas are “money furnaces” and burning through billions of dollars.