Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Herbert Diess.
  • Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess used his first tweet to troll rival CEO Elon Musk.
  • Diess told Musk he was on Twitter to get "some of your market shares." 
  • A Volkswagen spokesperson told CNN the two executives "respect each other."
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Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess this week used his first tweet to troll rival chief executive Elon Musk, who has a massive following on the site. 

"I'm here to make an impact with @VWGroup, especially on political issues," wrote Diess on Wednesday. 

He added: "And, of course, to get some of your market shares, @elonmusk - after all, our ID.3 and e-tron have won the first markets in Europe. Looking forward to productive discussions!"

The two companies compete on electric vehicles, but publicly have had a mostly friendly relationship.

The two CEOs "have a good relationship and respect each other," a Volkswagen spokesperson told CNN Business on Thursday. 

In September, Musk met with Volkswagen executives in Germany, where he test drove one of the company's electric vehicles.

At the time, a Volkswagen executive said the German company planned to make between 900,000 and 1.5 million electric vehicles a year. That would outpace the about 500,000 deliveries Tesla made last year. 

On Twitter, however, Diess had a lot of work to do to catch up.

Musk has around 42.7 million followers, placing him among the site's top accounts. He has as many followers as NASA, but still fewer than Bill Gates, who has 53 million. Diess had about 16,000 followers as of Friday morning. 

Diess's Twitter account was created in December 2020, but his first post went up on Wednesday.  

Diess's Twitter feed so far hasn't been anything like Musk's, which has long been home to obscure memes, inside jokes, and a host of other posts that most S&P 500 CEOs wouldn't dare share. 

This month alone, Musk has tweeted one liners like "Legalize comedy" and "Use Signal," along with a meme about sea shanties. He closed out 2020 with a series of tweets that included a sort-of poem: "Destiny, destiny / No escaping / that for me."

One meme he posted this month led to a spike in a Japanese video game company's stock.

Despite his trolling of Musk, Diess's Twitter posts so far have been polished. 

On Thursday, he said: "@VWGroup has reduced its CO2-emissions in the EU by around 20 percent within one year! We are the market leader (BEV) in Western Europe! The brands VW and Audi have even overachieved their targets & were the drivers for the Group's fleet reduction to 99,8g/km."

As of Friday morning, Musk hadn't responded to Diess's post. In the past, he voiced support for Volkswagen producing electric vehicles. 

In September 2019, Musk said, "Herbert Diess is doing more than any big carmaker to go electric. The good of the world should come first. For what it's worth, he has my support."

And in June 2019, when Volkswagen posted a picture of an electric Volkswagen Bus, Musk replied with a heart emoji. 

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