VW plan to lead world in electric car supply

LIGHTBULB M O M E N T: Vo l k s w a g e n brand chief Herber t Diess delivers his speech as Volkswagen presented a t u r n a ro u n d plan at a news c o n f e re n c e in Wolfsburg in Germany y e s t e rd a y P i c t u re : REUTERS
LIGHTBULB MOMENT: Volkawagen brand chief Herbert Diess delivers his speech as Volkswagen presented a turn around
plan at a news conference in Wolfsburg
in Germany yesterday. Picture: REUTERS

Volkswagen aims to be the world leader in electric cars by 2025, brand chief Herbert Diess said yesterday, as the German car giant shifts its focus to clean-energy vehicles after the diesel emissions cheating scandal.

“By 2025 we plan to sell one million electric cars per year, and by then we also want to be the global market leader in electro mobility,” Diess said at a presentation of the brand’s future plans.

“Going forward our electric cars will be the hallmark of Volkswagen,” he said at the VW group’s Wolfsburg headquarters in northern Germany.

The switch to electric will be funded through new investments and economies of scale, Diess said, and was a crucial part of the troubled brand’s efforts to reinvent itself.

Last week Volkswagen announced the biggest revamp in its history, saying it would cut 30 000 jobs to save ß3.7-billion (R55.58-billion) a year by 2020, while ramping up investment in future technologies such as electric cars, self-driving cars and digitalisation.

“Our industry will undergo more fundamental change over the next 10  years than ever before,” Diess said, predicting that the breakthrough of electric cars was just four or five years away and would be driven by environmental concerns.

“For most customers the electric car will soon be the better alternative.”

The shake-up at Volkswagen’s core brand comes as the group tries to recover from the biggest crisis in its history after it admitted last year to installing emissions cheating software in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide.

But even before “dieselgate” the VW brand had been struggling with profitability, weighed down by high costs and low productivity.

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