Described as being a 'forum for international understanding', the Menschen in Europe event took place last week in Passau, Germany to talk about everything from business and politics to arts and culture.
The car industry was also a subject of debate and Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller was invited to say a few words, including a few choice ones for electric upstarts Tesla:
'I really need to say a few words about Tesla – with all due respect, there are some world champions of big announcements in this world – I don’t want to name names. There are companies that barely sell 80,000 cars a year. Then there are companies like Volkswagen that sell 11 million cars this year, and produce a profit of 13 or 14 billion Euros.
'If I am correctly informed, Tesla destroys millions of dollars in the three digits each quarter, and fires its workers willy nilly. Social responsibility? Please. We should not get carried away and compare apples with oranges.'
Well, seems a bit late for 'I don’t want to name names', doesn't it? The part about not being socially responsible has to do with the fact that Tesla recently fired hundreds of employees (between 400-700 workers). This statement made by the VW CEO is quite brave when we take into account the group has been going through some major issues caused by the emissions scandal, prompting the company to switch towards an aggressive EV plan.