Volkswagen CEO: We Need To Move Faster On Electric Vehicles Or We Will Follow Nokia’s Fate | CleanTechnica
Volkswagen’s CEO, Herbert Diess, has reportedly expressed yet again the corporation’s powerful internal struggles regarding the transition to electric vehicles. Before jumping into his latest comments, though, I’d like to go back to what former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne made rather clear a few years ago: legacy automakers have to reinvent themselves in order to be true electric vehicle competitors. Many outsiders consider the shift from making fossil fuel vehicles to making electric vehicles as a simple transition, but it’s actually an existential crisis for large automakers.
As I’ve written before, legacy automakers are walking an extremely thin and difficult tightrope. On the one hand, if they don’t electrify fast enough, they’re dead. On the other hand, they have to invest an enormous amount of money to move from fossil powertrains to electric powertrains to remain at a similar production scale as they exist today, and they will certainly have to swallow stranded assets and sunk costs that will make their financials look a bit shabby for a while.