Volkswagen is slowly but surely moving away from its legacy car origins and shifting towards an electric future in an effort to take on and eventually beat Tesla.
Volkswagens’ clever analysts and auditors have concluded that if you can’t beat them [Tesla] you may as well join them. VW isn’t even hiding the fact that it will almost completely copy/paste Tesla’s Gigafactory as a blueprint for its proposed second-generation Trinity electric car production facility. It’s a demonstration of how far ahead Tesla is when it comes not only to electric vehicular technologies, from batteries, powertrains to software, it also shows how far the likes of VW have to go.
It also shows how the bureaucracy of Volkswagen has created a giant car company that is slow to react. Like all giants, VW reacts, moves, and thinks slowly. According to media reports, VW is seeking to use drones to transport parts within their future gigafactory. In addition, VW will trail autonomous production, vehicles will drive unaided to the final post-production phase.
At least VW is thinking outside of the box. But will autonomous production and the use of drones speed up production, or is it just for show? VW is looking at using aluminum or steel for production presses. For example, steel is easier and faster to press in body parts, therefore offering a lower emissions footprint.
Either way, it is fascinating how a legacy carmaker that triggered the demise of its own legacy through dieselgate is approaching the creation of a new legacy. Whether it’s all for show, that is another matter.