Provocative premiere: VW boss Diess is now competing with Tesla on Twitter

Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess announced shortly before Christmas 2020 in his previously preferred network, LinkedIn, that he would also be active on Twitter in the new year. Then he was a while in coming, but on Wednesday the time had come: the @Herbert_Diess account created in December already had a blue checkmark to confirm its authenticity and tried to provoke Tesla and Tesla for the first time its CEO Elon Musk to adapt to the customs there.

Diess on the media Tesla course

Diess was already on the Tesla course in many ways. Arguably more decisively than any other boss from the old car world, he is converting Volkswagen into an electric car manufacturer, including his own software on central computers, and warns that everything else has no future. And with the step on Twitter, where his counterpart at Tesla has been active for a good ten years, Diess Elon Musk is now also following in the choice of media.

It can be taken for granted that the VW boss’s Twitter account will not be as entertaining and informative as that of Musk. For as determined as Diess wants to usher in a new era at VW, the old corporate structures are holding him back. Musk, on the other hand, has 43 million followers on Twitter, not a few of whom seem to be followers in the narrower sense, and he provides them with news about Tesla or one of his other companies at any time of the day or night – or with new memes, the mostly not even bad.

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Seen in this way, Diess has a tough nut to crack on Twitter as it did in the electric car race to catch up with Tesla (and if you take the analogy further, VW will probably never get close to the pioneer). But he or his PR team at least tried hard to hit the right note at the Twitter premiere.

“Hello Twitter,” began the first message, written in English. He came to achieve something for the VW Group, especially on political issues, continued @Herbert_Diess, and then dared to do something: “And of course to get some of your market shares, @elonmusk – after all, our ID .3 and e-tron won the first markets in Europe. “

Electric car competitiveness criticized

With “I’m looking forward to productive discussions”, the VW boss then concluded more peacefully – he and his Tesla counterpart are at least well connected, so that Musk will probably not blame him for the little Europe swipe. The Twitter model itself did not initially react to the debut of its German colleague, but with more than 2000 likes and almost 500 retweets as well as a good 500 comments by late Wednesday evening, the response was presentable. The number of Diess followers rose to more than 6000, almost to count.

In terms of content, the reactions contained the expected mixture of congratulations, spite, reconciliation and nonsense. Often Diess was welcomed on Twitter and praised for his step into the wilder world there. On the other hand, several commentators referred to VW’s involvement in the diesel scandal. Many criticized that Diess should not try to take Tesla’s market share, but rather work together to displace combustion cars. But this is how Diess would have expressed himself, if at all, if he could really do what he wanted on Twitter, like Musk.


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