Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess warns that the German automaker can become the new Nokia if the company does not keep up with the times. The Finnish telephone producer dominated the smartphone market until mid-2011, but was subsequently surpassed on all sides by competitors such as Apple, Samsung and Huawei.
Diess made the ruling Thursday after a meeting with Volkswagen drivers from all over the world. According to the CEO, in order to survive, Volkswagen must distance itself from its role as a traditional automaker and manifest itself more as a tech group.
"Volkswagen's future lies exclusively in the digital tech world and we still have a lot of catching-up to do to mobilize the full potential of our group," said Diess. The pace of this change is currently too low, he says. "If we continue to transform at this pace, it will be very difficult to stay big."
Diess cites the electric car maker Tesla as a modern company. The company of billionaire Elon Musk is much less large when it comes to car sales, but according to Diess it is at market share value at about the same level.
"The car becomes the most important 'mobile device'. When we realize that, we understand why analysts value Tesla so highly," said the Volkswagen CEO.