VW confirms Tesla's superior software competency and wants to attack California pioneer electronic car with "a catch-up plan".
“What bothers me the most is the ability to work with driver assistance systems,” said VW CEO Herbert Diess in VW’s internal webcast. “500,000 Tesla function as a neural network that continuously collects data and offers customers a new driving experience every 14 days with improved features,” he said, and also acknowledged: “No other car manufacturer can do this today.”
Although Diess made a mistake on 500k cars (today, in fact, about 1 million Tesla cars collect data), he clearly understands that Tesla offers its customers a unique experience. OTA updates and the functioning of all Tesla cars, as a single organism, still remain only an unattainable goal for all automakers and for VW in particular.
Diess demanded that the newly-created VW car software development team “implement the Tesla catch-up plan”. The integration of high-performance software into new models poses VW with much more complex tasks than, for example, electrifying a fleet of vehicles. Tesla’s access to the keyless vehicle, combining multiple functions on one screen and a smaller design were well received. “Customers like it,” said Diess. “It is clear that VW will follow suit at these points,” he continued.
Regarding the valuation of VW in the international capital markets, Diess presented to its top managers a chart that showed Tesla's rating two times higher than that of VW. “And this despite our valuable brands such as Porsche, Audi, VW, Bentley and others,” he said. In order to catch Tesla, “We still have a long way to go,” said Diess.