Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess is in hot water. He’s apparently facing a no-confidence vote after pressure from the automaker’s worker council over his comment about the need to go electric faster.
Diess is among the biggest proponents of accelerating electric vehicle adoption within the legacy auto industry.
He has been vocal about his admiration of what Tesla is doing and has pushed for VW to follow Tesla’s lead in many aspects.
The CEO recently invited Elon Musk to talk to his executives and managers in order to motivate them.
He also said that the German automaker risks losing 30,000 jobs if it doesn’t accelerate electric vehicle production.
The comment and his constant comparisons to Tesla haven’t gone down well with many people within Volkswagen.
According to German reports, the concerns have now escalated to a board committee review following pressure from the company’s worker council.
It basically amounts to putting Diess up to a vote of no confidence even though the CEO received backing from the board for his electrification plan less than a year ago.
The CEO canceled a trip to the US in order to address the situation, and today, he gave a talk to employees amid the review.
He said [via Auto News Europe]:
I’m being frequently asked why I keep comparing us with Tesla. I know this is annoying to some. Even if I no longer talk about Elon Musk, he will still be there and revolutionizes our industry and keeps getting more competitive quickly.
About his comments that 30,000 jobs are at risk, Diess added:
Yes, I’m worried about Wolfsburg. I want that your children and grandchildren can still have a secure job here with us in Wolfsburg. That’s my point today. That’s why I’m here.
While the situation is being framed as the worker council fighting Diess’ electric push, the council insists that they support it, but they fear job losses in the process.
For example, they complained about the company’s capacity to secure chip supply, which has been less of an issue for Tesla.
I don’t get why they would blame Diess for saying that jobs are at risk. They are, and it’s not his fault.
Diess has been pushing for years to accelerate electric vehicle production at the company, and he has seen a lot of pushback.
If VW doesn’t accelerate its transition, it will find itself with a lot of stranded assets, and yes, jobs will go away.
It sounds to me like Diess is trying to avoid that. I don’t why pointing it out is an actual problem.
Would they prefer if he kept his head in the sand? What am I missing?
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