Tesla’s Elon Musk made one final stop during his German tour this week to meet with Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess. The two frontmen for their respective automakers are known friends, and Diess offered Musk a preview of Volkswagen’s upcoming line of electric vehicles.
Musk and Diess traded compliments about each other during the Golden Steering Wheel awards in Berlin, Germany, last year, where Musk was presented with an award won by the Tesla Model 3. Since then, it has been reported that Musk and Diess have kept a close relationship, with the Tesla CEO admitting he is supporting Volkswagen’s electric initiatives.
Musk credits Diess specifically, and based on a report from Handelsblatt of a recent meeting between the two men, Volkswagen and Tesla could be preparing for an even closer relationship. Diess even revealed the ID.3 and ID.4 vehicles to Musk, with the Tesla CEO taking the former car around for a spin.
Herbert Diess is doing more than any big carmaker to go electric. The good of the world should come first. For what it’s worth, he has my support.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 24, 2019
The ID.3 and ID.4 are two of Volkswagen’s vehicles that will use the company’s Modular Electric Drive Matrix, or MEB. The German car company has admitted it has struggled with the operation and consistency of the MEB since introducing it into the company’s lineup.
However, Musk and Diess’ relationship has been based on accelerating the popularity of electric vehicles altogether. Musk has indicated in the past that the company’s only competitors are those who continue to manufacture cars that will harm the environment. Volkswagen is arguably one of the most active car companies in the world in terms of transitioning its fleet to a fully-electric lineup.
Musk would undoubtedly approve.
While the finer points of the meeting remain unknown, it was revealed that Musk’s Gulfstream G650 took off from Berlin after a visit to the company’s production facility in Brandenburg. After 26 minutes of travel, Musk’s plane touched down at Braunschweig Airport, which is mostly owned by Volkswagen.
From there, Musk and Diess coordinated a meeting.
While the quick hangout of the two men could have been a friendly gesture, there could be some evidence to suggest that Diess could be looking for Musk’s help in figuring out the software issues that Volkswagen has encountered.
In July, Teslarati reported that German automakers, like Volkswagen and Audi, were scrambling to come up with an answer to Tesla’s tech lead. Musk, who has been vocal of his support for any legacy automaker that wishes to transition to electrification, said, “Tesla is open to licensing software and supplying powertrains & batteries. We’re just trying to accelerate sustainable energy, not crush competitors!”