Tesla landing in Germany Sparks Competition With the Biggest Automaker in the World: Volkswagen


Aden Meisel, Owen Noble

‘Das Auto’ – the German tagline which quite literally translates to “the car” – belongs to the distinguished brand of the world’s largest car manufacturer: Volkswagen. Based in Wolfsburg, Germany, Volkswagen sold nearly 10.3 million vehicles worldwide in 2016, according to Bertel Schmitt’s Forbes article, finally surpassing Toyota as the world’s largest automaker. 

Ironically, Volkswagen has not become what it is today through its own product as much as it has through the products of other manufacturers. Volkswagen’s ownership of over 50 subsidiaries including major brands such as Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti, and Ducati allowed them to dominate the automaker industry. However, competition is soon to be arriving on their own soil.

In November of 2019, Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla) announced that Tesla will soon be manufacturing their electric cars in Germany. Though they faced a series of legal setbacks, according to The Associated Press, Tesla is expected to begin assembling in October of 2021 — within roughly 150 miles of Volkswagen headquarters.

With the arrival of next-generation electric vehicles, Volkswagen is being forced to adapt to an auto market whose top priority is now the environment. In response to this change, Volkswagen launched the all-electric and affordable ID4, along with Audi’s brand new e-tron series. 

With these recent developments, it is clear that Volkswagen is heavily invested in the competitive European electric car market. In fact, according to a Reuters article, “Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen, Europe’s largest carmaker, aims to overtake Tesla as the world’s top seller of electric cars by 2025, a claim that is underscored by an ambitious plan to build six large battery factories in Europe by 2030.” 

As for now, the world’s largest car manufacturer now competes against the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer. Though it is unclear which manufacturer will come out on top, the auto world is eager to know.