Tesla CEO Elon Musk has appeared as a surprise guest via video at a Volkswagen executive conference in Alpach, Austria.
VW Group CEO Herbert Diess posted a picture on Twitter on Saturday showing him on a stage together with Musk on a screen.
Diess wrote: "With a new mindset & a revolution in our headquarter Wolfsburg we can succeed the new competition."
"Good meeting with 200 top managers in Alpbach. Big responsibility at a crucial point for our company. Thx for joining ... [Elon Musk], We will visit you soon in Gruenheide," he wrote, referring to Tesla's new gigafactory near Berlin.
According to a Volkswagen spokesperson, Diess also invited Musk to visit the group headquarters in Wolfsburg in northern Germany.
Musk had been added as a surprise guest, Diess wrote on the Linkedin platform. According to the VW spokesperson, Diess had invited the Tesla boss.
On Saturday, the business newspaper Handelsblatt had already reported on Musk's appearance, citing participants.
According to the report, the Tesla boss dispelled VW's concerns about the transition to e-mobility. The VW Group will master the change, Musk said according to the Handelsblatt.
He sees VW as his biggest challenger. Tesla must become even faster and more productive than other car companies, he said. "We have to become even better despite all our successes," the Tesla boss said, according to the report.
Diess wrote on Linkedin that he was pleased to hear that Tesla, as the strongest competitor, believes VW will succeed in the transition. "Happy to hear that even our strongest competitor thinks that we will succeed the transition if we drive the transformation with full power," he wrote.
But he also pointed to Tesla's speed. One example, he said, was that the company was coping well with the shortage of computer chips because it had developed software that allowed it to use different chips.
At the internal conference in Austria on Thursday, Diess had encouraged his management circle to engage in tougher competition with Tesla. The Wolfsburg headquarters must also "become more efficient, faster."