The Volkswagen brand said it intends to be the first brand to sell more than one million all-electric vehicles in a single year — and the brand intends to achieve this feat under more ambitious margin targets than previously projected.
The core VW passenger car brand is now aiming for a 6 per cent margin target in 2022, pulling forward its target by 2025, it announced at a press event in its Wolfsburg headquarters.
The brand, expected to achieve margins of around 4 per cent this year, has previously declined to speak about margins in the years from 2020 to 2025, saying that there is too much uncertainty hitting the car market in the coming years, including investment costs into software and electrification as well as trade tariffs and uncertainty regarding customer demand.
But Ralf Brandstätter, chief operating officer, said: “We must force the pace of our transformation and become more efficient and agile. We cannot let up in our efforts and must realise further substantial improvements. What we have achieved so far is still not enough.”
Mr Brandstätter said the brand’s progress in cutting bloating costs has been going better than expected. Since 2015 the brand has been trying to cut fixed costs by €3bn; by the end of this year it will have already realised cost savings of more than €2.2bn.
“That means the lion’s share of the planned total savings” has already been achieved, VW said. It expects “further massive savings” by consolidating the number of “platforms” is uses to undergird various models, both in its emerging electric portfolio and for its combustion engine cars.
By 2025, when it hopes to sell one million all-electric cars, the brand will be selling 20 different electric models. It is investing €11bn into future technology from 2019 to 2023, with €9bn of that sum earmarked for electric vehicles. The broader VW Groups, which includes Porsche and Audi, has said it will spend €44bn on these technologies in the coming half decade.
The news was announced as VW said that year-to-date sales were up 1.2 per cent to 5.7m cars, another record despite the many headwinds in the auto sector.
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