Tesla Pushing Volkswagen to Accelerate Electric Vehicle Shift, Company Says on Competition

Competition from new entrants to Germany’s autos market such as Tesla has pushed Volkswagen to accelerate plans to transform its main plant towards producing electric vehicles, the company said on Wednesday.

“There is no question that we have to address the competitiveness of our plant in Wolfsburg in view of new market entrants,” Volkswagen spokesperson Michael Manske said, pointing to Tesla and new Chinese automakers making inroads into Europe.

“Tesla is setting new standards for productivity and scale in Grunheide,” he said, referring to a Tesla factory under construction near Berlin which at peak capacity will produce 5,000 to 10,000 cars a week – over double the entirety of German battery-electric vehicle (EV) production in 2020.