Volkswagen Group CEO, Matthias Müller, has used a panel discussion to take aim at Tesla.
Speaking at a forum about the future of the automotive industry, Müller didn’t mince words when talking about the low volumes, regular losses and reported layoffs plaguing Tesla.
“Now I really need to say a few words about Tesla: with all respect, there are some world champions of big announcements in this world – I don’t want to name names,” Müller said, in response to a question from the panel moderator. His response has been translated by Daily Kanban.
Above: Tesla was in the firing line from Matthias Muller earlier this week
“There are companies that sell barely 80,000 cars a year. Then there are companies like Volkswagen that sell 11 million cars this year, and produce a profit of 13 or 14 billion euro.”
“If I am correctly informed, Tesla each quarter destroys millions of dollars in the three digits, and it willy-nilly fires its workers. Social responsibility? Please.”
“We should not get carried away and compare apples with oranges,” he added.
Above: Fiat Chrysler CEO, Sergio Marchionne, has recently questioned the Tesla business model
This isn’t the first time a prominent executive has questioned Tesla recently.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) CEO, Sergio Marchionne, called the Silicon Valley startup’s viability into question just two weeks ago, and said FCA would focus on combining electric motors and internal combustion to meet tightening emissions regulations.
“We are investing without making a lot of noise on electrification,” he said. “We will combine it with combustion to yield the right level of CO2. But we’re not betting the bank on going fully electric in the next decade. It won’t happen.”