Volkswagen to Boost EV Spending

Volkswagen says it is to boost spending on electric vehicles between 2019 and 2023.

A statement from the automaker said its “model portfolio is being streamlined and the number of variants reduced” in a bid to “significantly improve its earnings performance”. It claimed the increased EV spending would be funded by the budget surpluses generated by these cutbacks.

It also announced plans to increase productivity at its plants by 30% between 2019 and 2025 and enact “a massive reduction in the complexity of [its] model portfolio”, including the discontinuation of a number of low-selling engine-transmission variants in Europe. Chief operating officer Ralf Brandstätter said: “We must force the pace of our transformation and become more efficient and agile”.

The automaker’s projected total expenditure for its modernization program is €11Bn ($12.5Bn), of which €9Bn ($10.2Bn) will be spent on EV production. The remainder will be spent on “digitalization, autonomous driving, and mobility services”. It said it plans to increase the number of Volkswagen-branded EVs from two currently “to around 20 by 2025”. However, it admitted it still has yet to decide on the location of its base of North American EV production.

Volkswagen said its plant in Zwickau, Germany is currently being converted to a dedicated “electric mobility” site and its plants in Hanover and Emden would also make EVs from 2022. It also hopes for its plants in Foshan and Anting, China to begin EV production in 2020.


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