Volkswagen vies to become Leader in Electric Cars
Did Volkswagen just throw down the gauntlet and challenge Tesla? Automologist MAC reports about the latest showdown in the electric car arena.
Despite the emissions scandal that has surrounded Volkswagen in Europe and North America, the German automaker has been just about in the top spot of the world’s automakers for a couple of years now.
Now VW has set itself ambitious targets in the electric vehicle market, with the sales target of one million units by the year 2025, and in doing so become the leading manufacturer of electric vehicles. In a report carried by London’s Financial Times, the head of VW, Herbert Diess, said that in the short term, the company will concentrate on cutting costs and improving productivity up to 2020, but thereafter will concentrate on manufacturing electric cars. VW is due to shed some 30,000 jobs globally, of which 23,000 will go in Germany alone. Currently VW lags well behind the others in the North American market, with about 1.8% market share, so a lot of its focus will be to create wider appeal in the US of A. This will include introducing more Americaland-focussed offerings and building more at their Chattanooga production plant; this will include shifting production of electric cars to that site as well.
Of course Tesla already has a target of one million cars by 2020, but during the announcement, Diess actually declared “Anything Tesla can do we can surpass”, which sounds very much like fighting talk to me! Of course, VW will be looking to create critical mass that will allow prices to drop to around about what a diesel car would sell for, making them less elitist and thus returning VW to being the people’s car again.
I suppose going electric is one way that VW will be allowed to forget about the Diesel-gate scandal and bounce back. Let’s hope it gets the range figures correct for its electric vehicles though.
“Anything Tesla can do, we can do better.”