VW takes ownership of Musk’s Twitter book

It was an April Fool’s joke that went wrong. Apologizing shamefully, Volkswagen had to confirm in late March that the US transformation of Voltswagen into a fully electric future was a ploy.

However, the announcement, prompting the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate the coincidence with the large wave of US shares in the group, was in line with the social media strategy launched at the German carmaker’s headquarters.

Last summer, VW CEO Herbert Dees told employees he wanted to be more voice-over online. He believes that the group, which invests more than 35 billion euros in electrical technology, needs to attract the attention of people like Elon Musk, according to people close to the top leadership.

“Maybe we need a big boom,” said one person familiar with the strategy, an approach that included Diez on LinkedIn and then on Twitter with more provocative messages.

Diess is also active on China’s Weibo, where he is hot on the heels of Tesla founder, who has used social media for years to promote his company in terms of followers.

Some tricks to get VW more attention Dyes poses for a selfie with Tesla CEO Elon Musk © Herbert Diess / Twitter

VW launched its first dedicated electric car, the ID.3, last year, and in 2020 sold nearly 232,000 battery-powered cars, becoming Europe’s largest electric car company in the process. By the end of the decade, it wants 70 percent of its sales in Europe to be emissions-free.

Despite such claims, the German company is worth a third of Tesla, which is building a plant 150 miles from the base of the VW Group in Wolfsburg.

Taking an unusual step for a stable German corporate class, Diess did a number of tricks to spot VW.

Bavaria, in a post on LinkedIn, showed one of the group’s cars, making a Batman mask, taking a selfie with Musk when he visited VW to check his ID. Tesla was ridiculed after joining Twitter at the beginning of the year: 3:. An executive who tried to recruit Diez when he was a BMW manager.

The head of VW also made online contacts with climate activists and politicians, using the best means of neutral carbon transportation.

VW performance և last possible moments

The importance of this strategy is underscored by Diess’ weekly social media planning meeting, which can last up to two hours. Analysis of previous posts is reviewed և The possible “viral content” of the coming days is discussed.

Some say the tactic has helped VW gain more recognition.

“Diess got a lot of attention because [Daimler boss Ola] Kalenius և: [BMW’s Oliver] Zipse will not go out there, ”said Michael Muders, portfolio manager at Union Investment, one of VW’s top seven shareholders.

“You need a lot of money to master the transition,” he added. “This is part of the game plan.”

At the heart of this program is the ability to attract the attention of fund managers in the US, who are much more focused on VW’s younger competitors. In pursuit of this goal, VW recently began making its quarterly press calls in English.

“After Dieselgate, there was no interest from American investors,” said a close associate of VW’s executive board. They added that more than half of Diez’s Twitter followers are from the United States.

When GM and Ford headline the dates when they will stop selling combustion engines, VW is trying to emphasize that it has an advantage over its traditional competitors in the form of special power platforms, one of which is licensed to Ford.

This technology “gives VW an advantage over its peers,” says Daniel Schwartz, a Stifel analyst. “Now we have a European green deal, և VW’s strategy seems even more promising.”

Diess Chairs Weekly Social Media Planning Meeting to Analyze Previous Posts © Twitter

Among other events, such as Electricity Day, which focuses on battery technology designed to create online gossip, VW’s online attack coincided with a sharp rise in the manufacturer’s shares.

For a short time this spring, the beetle maker once again bore the crown of Germany’s most expensive public company, despite a significant shift in its already ambitious electrical plans, almost restoring the soil lost in the 2015 diesel emissions scandal.

Critically, however, it is unclear how much Diess tweets help.

Although VW shares have more than doubled since hitting a 10-year low in March last year, Daimler shares have tripled over the same period, despite its restrained Swedish CEO refraining from Twitter.

“I use LinkedIn because we found it to be a great tool for bringing talent into our company,” Kalenius told the Financial Times. “I still believe in it.»

If the rally, which was partly fueled by a boom in car demand, continues, German carmakers will probably have to do more than put up hashtags.

“Easy money in the market is probably made,” said Union’s Muders. “The question is, what is the margin in the electric vehicle business?” It will be the focus of the market. “

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