Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn is launching an ambitious plan to triple market share in the U.S. by 2018, with an electric vehicle and an all-new range of products designed with the U.S. market in mind at the forefront.
An electric car based on the Golf or the new Up city cars will by sold by 2013, while a hybrid Jetta and Touraeg will bow by the end of 2011. “Our goal is clear and ambitious,” Winterkorn told Automotive News yesterday at VW’s research laboratory in Palo Alto, California. “Volkswagen will be the automaker to mass produce the electric car for everyone.”
Volkswagen’s U.S. operations were shaken up by the departure of Stefan Jacoby, a 25 year veteran of VW. Jacoby’s exit left a large hole at the top of the U.S. subsidiary. Others think that VW North America and Winterkorn’s leadership will mean that the transition will be seamless.
“I don’t doubt it’s a loss,” Mike Tyndall, an automotive specialist at Nomura Securities in London, told Business Week. “In some ways the cake has been baked and it’s almost ready for the eating.” [Source: Automotive News, Business Week]