Tesla has had a long history (ok, their entire history) of being the underdog and not being taken seriously. Even as Model 3 production ramped up and sales numbers soared for it to become the #1 selling EV in history, the critics remained, and legacy car manufacturers continued their R&D on combustion engines, for the most part ignoring electric vehicles.
Now as we approach 8 years since the Model S was first released, one major car manufacturer is realizing that Tesla is no longer a niche automaker, and that it should be taken seriously by the big players in the manufacturing game.
Speaking at an event for Volkswagen’s new Golf, reporters asked the CEO Herbert Diess about Tesla, and commented that it is still viewed as a “niche” automaker in trouble, and that established automakers don’t have to worry as Tesla can only produce low-volume product. Bloomberg reports that Diess responded by saying that is not true, and that Tesla should be taken seriously by everyone.
“Tesla is not niche. The Model 3 is a large-series model and they are one of the biggest manufacturers of electric-car batteries. We have a lot of respect for Tesla. It’s a competitor we take very seriously.”
These comments from Diess come after Tesla CEO Elon Musk praised Diess for his efforts to pursue electrification within VW, saying on Twitter that he fully supports his work.
Herbert Diess is doing more than any big carmaker to go electric. The good of the world should come first. For what it’s worth, he has my support.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 24, 2019