(Bloomberg) -- Elon Musk joined a Volkswagen conference as a surprise guest to address 200 executives of the German automaker at the invitation of VW Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess.
The German newspaper Handelsblatt reported Musk’s special appearance via video feed earlier on Saturday before Diess confirmed the Tesla Inc. CEO’s attendance in posts on Twitter and LinkedIn.
“We need a new mindset at Volkswagen to take on the new competition,” Diess wrote on LinkedIn.
Diess aims to transform Volkswagen into one of the world’s biggest makers of electric vehicles, and has pitted its largest plant against the Tesla factory that’s under construction near Berlin.
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Musk, Tesla’s CEO and co-founder, praised Volkswagen as an automotive icon, and said he’s sure the company will master the transformation.
When asked about why Tesla is more agile than other automakers, Musk replied that it’s the company’s management style, that he’s first and foremost an engineer, and that he’s fascinated by supply chains, logistics and production processes.
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