VW denied a report saying that the company was interested in acquiring a stake in Tesla, rendering it as “completely unfounded”.
“The speculation about buying a stake in Tesla made by Manager Magazin is without merit,” a Volkswagen spokesman said in a written statement to Reuters of the report published by the German business publication.
According to that report, VW boss Herbert Diess is interested in acquiring a stake in Tesla as he believes Volkswagen could profit from the EV maker’s expertise in batteries and software.
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The report said that Diess meets with Tesla CEO Elon Musk on a regular basis, but Tesla has so far rebuffed VW’s efforts at striking an alliance. “Diess would go in right away if he could,” said one of Diess’ top managers, who remains unnamed.
Acquiring a stake in Tesla for a start would be sufficient for VW, which has enough money for a move like this, the report went on. However, the biggest obstacle Diess has to face in this case is getting the consent of VW’s owner families, namely the Piechs and the Porsches.
A banker close to VW also reportedly said that while Diess would love to have Tesla’s software developers, he knows that it’s almost impossible to justify spending $30 billion to buy the entire company.
Tesla has been rumored to be seeking a new factory site in Germany where it can launch its planned European Gigafactory. The EV maker wants its new facility to be up and running by 2021.