According to Business Insider Germany, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess had an employment contract from Tesla in 2015 to become CEO which was ready to be signed.
Current Tesla CEO Elon Musk was ready to hand over management of the electric vehicle (EV) company to Diess, though he eventually decided against it – for one mysterious reason or another.
When asked about the tale, one Volkswagen spokesperson simply said, “No comment.”
While the story remains largely untold by Diess to most at Volkswagen, the rivalry between Diess and Musk remains fun, albeit competitive, and extremely public.
For example, Diess joined Twitter earlier this year and stated his intent to “Get some of [Elon Musk’s] market shares,” in a half-joking tweet explaining his reason for joining the social media app.
VW ID.4 Hits Canada This Summer, Pricing from $44,995 CAD https://t.co/k4TORZPT0G
— TeslaNorth.com (@RealTeslaNorth) April 8, 2021
In March, Volkswagen also announced its plans to build six new battery factories across Europe, effectively upping the competition for Tesla in a time when the company has nearly completed its first European factory, Gigafactory Berlin, despite a slow approval process by the courts and a number of other recent obstacles to completion.
While Diess left the question of “why not join Tesla?” unanswered, Volkswagen’s strides in the electric vehicle (EV) sector the past couple of years seem to justify the decision.
Volkswagen has been called the “most credible” rival effort to Tesla by Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) earlier this year, and Deutsche Bank later predicted that the European auto company could surpass Tesla’s sales as soon as next year.
Contributing Writer at TeslaNorth.com from California’s southeast Bay Area. Covers electric vehicles, space exploration, and all things tech. Loves a good cup of coffee, live music and puppies. Buying a Tesla? Click here to get 1,000 free Supercharging miles.