Rumors of interest from VW boss Herbert Diess to Tesla

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DTesla's stock price on Thursday initially reacted positively to rumors that Volkswagen chief executive Herbert Diess might be interested in joining the American electric car company. The price of Tesla shares rose on the Tradegate exchange by almost 3 percent. The trading of Tesla shares on American Wall Street had not started there yet. The share price of Volkswagen, however, did not react yet.

Volkswagen denied the report immediately: "The speculation to take over shares of Tesla are pointless," said a VW spokesman on Thursday. A senior executive of the company is said to have said, according to a preliminary report from the "Manager Magazine" about Chef Diess: "He would get in immediately if he could". This was the view that Volkswagen could benefit from Tesla's battery and especially software competence.

The money is there too, for the beginning rich participation. This is also referred to in the report as "the biggest Tesla fan of the car scene." It would be more difficult with the approval of the major shareholders, the families Porsche and Piëch.

A banker close to VW said Diess would like to have access to Tesla's software expertise, but it would be impossible to justify flipping $ 30 billion (27 billion euros) across the company. An opinion from Tesla was initially not obtainable.

Volkswagen wants to catch up

Volkswagen wants to become the market leader in e-cars in the next few years. On Thursday, the company also presented a new brand appearance. With the new logo and a digital market appearance, Volkswagen wants to underline the turnaround in e-mobility. "In large parts, Volkswagen should feel like a tech company," announced Ralf Brandstätter, responsible for the operating business of the main brand, in Wolfsburg on Thursday.


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To the detail view

"We want to become the world market leader in e-mobility by 2025," Brandstätter affirmed, adding: "That means that we want to sell one million electric vehicles a year by then." Overall, Volkswagen will invest more than € 30 billion in the E by 2023 -Mobility.

The earning power should not suffer here. The VW brand affirmed the goal of an operating margin of 6 percent by 2022. In the first half of 2019, the return was 5.2 percent. Brandstätter justified the confidence that VW could reduce the costs by the self-developed modular system (MEB) and the brand also has economies of scale due to their size. Contributing to this is the recently agreed cooperation with Ford.

VW is worried about the economic downturn and the impending Brexit. But management did not want to talk about a crisis. If the new electric cars do not give the necessary yield, the air should be thinner for VW. At the moment there is no reason to change the business outlook.

Ralf Brandstätter (t) Jochen Sengpiehl (t) Herbert Diess (t) Volkswagen (t) ISIN_DE0007664039 (t) Reuters (t) Tesla

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