Volkswagen has gone from corporate dinosaur to stock market darling, and its CEO's imitation of Elon Musk has a lot to do with it.

Herbert Diess has taken a page out of the Tesla CEO’s script for captivating investors big and small, taking a hands-on role in getting VW’s message out on social media and staging splashy events big on ambition. It’s paying off — the carmaker’s common shares are up more than 70% this year...

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