BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Reportedly, Volkswagen will heavily invest in ride-hailing services, driverless cars, electric vehicles (EV), and anything that makes its business greener. Apparently, the German automaker is seeking to redeem its tarnished image after the diesel emission scandal.
The company also pledged to make “the biggest change process” in its history under a project dubbed “TOGETHER – Strategy 2025.”
But despite the optimism, industry analysts and investors alike were unimpressed. Analysts said that it is unclear how many customers would opt for electric vehicles in Europe.
Other analysts believe that the plan looks great on paper to impress the public and make people feel that the company has changed since the scandal. The automaker is now struggling to revive sales after the largest scandal in its nearly 8-decade history.
The scandal, which was spurred by the company’s acknowledgement that it had cheated on emission tests, cost VW $18 billion. Plus, automotive experts expect that figure to rise even further as new fines and costs emerge.
Plus, the scandal made customers more reluctant on buying diesel cars regardless of the brand and forced VW and other diesel car makers to trim costs. In Europe, half of newly bought vehicles are diesel.
The company, which unveiled its new strategy on June 16 at the annual investor meeting, also said that it is working on 30 new types of EVs slated to reach the showrooms over the next decade. The company is confident that by 2025, 25 percent of deliveries will be EVs .
But of the 10 million units sold last year including Porsches, Audis, Seats and Skodas, just 67,000 were EV or hybrids.
VW is also reportedly working on car-sharing services, a business which is expected to produce billions of dollars by 2025. Additionally, VW will hire 1,000 engineers to help it built a fleet of fully automated vehicles.
The company declined to be more specific on the value of the investment but its CEO Matthias Mueller estimated that it would be a “double-digit billion” sum. Part of the money will be generated by cutting costs which should bring $8 billion worth of savings every year.
For the sake of savings, the company will review its portfolio and cease the production of some brands including those from the 340-model line and the Ducati motorbikes.
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