Volkswagen CEO says carmaker faces same fate as Nokia without urgent reforms

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[January 16, 2020]   FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Volkswagen <VOWG_p.DE> Chief Executive Herbert Diess said the German carmaker needs to accelerate its transformation to avoid becoming another Nokia <NOKIA.HE>, which lost its dominance in the handset market to Apple <AAPL.O>.

 Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess attends a construction completion event of SAIC Volkswagen MEB electric vehicle plant in Shanghai, China November 8, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

"The big questions is: are we fast enough?," Diess told VW's senior managers following a global board meeting on Thursday. "If we continue at our current speed, it is going to be very tough."

The car was is longer a mode of transport and carmakers are no longer only manufacturers of vehicles, he said.

"The era of the classic carmakers is over," Diess added.

(Reporting by Edward Taylor; editing by Thomas Seythal)

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