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VW outlines aggressive strategy to build EVs around the world

2018-03-14 10:01

  • 16 production sites for electric vehicles by end of 2022
  • Future partnerships with battery manufacturers in Europe, China
  • Record earnings despite billions in cash outflows from the diesel crisis
  • CFO Frank Witter: "The results of the year 2017 demonstrate, we are actively shaping the transformation of our company. And we will not cease in our efforts in 2018."

Wolfsburg/Berlin – The Volkswagen Group is driving forward with the transformation to e-mobility. 16 locations around the globe are to produce battery powered vehicles by the end of 2022.

This was announced by Matthias Muller, CEO of Volkswagen, at the Group’s Annual Media Conference in Berlin.

The Group currently produces electric vehicles at three locations, and in two years’ time a further nine Group factories are scheduled to be equipped for this purpose. To ensure adequate battery capacity for the massive expansion of environmentally-friendly electric mobility, partnerships with battery manufacturers for Europe and China have already been agreed.

The contracts already awarded have a total volume of around €20-billion. A supplier decision for North America will be taken shortly VW says.

80 new electric VW Group models

"Over the last few months, we have pulled out all the stops to implement ‘Roadmap E’ with the necessary speed and determination," CEO Muller explained in Berlin.

When 'Roadmap E' was launched last fall, Volkswagen announced plans to build up to three million electric vehicles annually by 2025 and market 80 new electric Group models. This year, another nine new vehicles, three of which will be purely electric-powered, will be added to the Group’s electric portfolio of eight e-cars and plug-in hybrids.

A number of innovations from the Group were presented last week at the Geneva International Motor Show, among them the Audi e-tron, the Porsche Mission E and the I.D Vizzion, another member of the Volkswagen I.D family.

From 2019, there will be a new electric vehicle 'virtually every month', Muller said: "This is how we intend to offer the largest fleet of electric vehicles in the world, across all brands and regions, in just a few years."

The CEO made a point of emphasising that this did not mean Volkswagen was turning its back on conventional drive systems. Modern diesel drives were part of the solution, not part of the problem, he stressed – also with regard to climate change.

Muller said: "We are making massive investments in the mobility of tomorrow, but without neglecting current technologies and vehicles that will continue to play an important role for decades to come.

"We are putting almost €20-billion into our conventional vehicle and drive portfolio in 2018, with a total of more than €90-billion scheduled over the next five years."

Large impetus on digitalisation in the VW Group

A separate Committee chaired by CEO Muller is advancing digitalisation in the Group, a key issue for the future. Muller said: "The future of mobility is gradually taking shape, as is the future of the Volkswagen Group."

The best example of this is SEDRIC, which has enabled the Volkswagen Group to demonstrate the potential of fully autonomous driving for the first time. SEDRIC was designed in the Group, but will soon be 'leaving the Group for refinement into a series product at one of our brands', Muller announced.

Image: AP 

The transformation of the entire Group that got off the ground in 2016 is becomin "more concrete, tangible and discernible with every passing day," said Muller.

Together – Strategy 2025 brought precisely the shake-up that Volkswagen needed.

"2017 was an excellent year for the Volkswagen Group and its brands. We’re back on the offensive– and we intend to remain there," the CEO stressed, adding that this was true for electric mobility in particular.

"With ‘Roadmap E’, we have sent a powerful message of our resolve," Muller stated.

The Volkswagen Group kicked off 'Roadmap E', the most comprehensive electrification drive in the automotive industry, in 2017.

Read more on:    volkswagen  |  wolfsburg  |  electric vehicles

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