Tesla does more than cars

Tesla shock: "There won't be an auto industry like this in ten years"

Who's Afraid of Tesla? This question almost always resonates when people talk about the future in the German automotive industry. In all interviews with managers and experts from the industry, the US electric car manufacturer is “the elephant in the room,” says sociologist Andreas Boes, director of the Munich Institute for Social Science Research (ISF). On behalf of IG Metall, he examined the effects of the Tesla shock on German industry - and expects radical changes in the coming years.

“The auto industry as we think we know it won't exist in ten years,” said Boes at the digital Hannover Messe. The industry has to leave its old development path and really reinvent itself. From his point of view, Tesla gave the decisive impetus for this. "The California company puts its finger in the wound," said Boes.

Founder Elon Musk's electric car factory in Grünheide near Berlin is due to start production as early as July. Allegedly, the construction of the plant is on schedule, even if the final approval from the authorities is still missing. Even before production started, the technology pioneer and world market leader in all-electric vehicles had already arrived in the minds of many car managers in the country of birth of the automobile. "The automotive industry feels downright challenged by Tesla," observed Boes.

At Volkswagen in particular, the managers are working very hard on the model from the USA. This is due to CEO Herbert Diess, an avowed fan of Elon Musk. He regularly uses the competition from Tesla internally to put pressure on his employees and move the huge corporation in the direction he wants.