It sounds like Volkswagen plans to pull all of its diesel models out of the U.S. market.
“At the moment we assume that we will offer no new diesel vehicles in the U.S.,” VW brand chief Herbert Diess told Handelsblatt.
While that isn’t an entirely definitive answer, it seems like VW won’t be back in the U.S. with any TDI models. Instead, the German automaker has announced its “TRANSFORM 2025+” plans, outlining its future direction, which includes a big push into electric vehicles and larger sport utility vehicles.
Its goals are big, too. By 2020, Volkswagen plans to have 19 SUV models on sale, up from the current two, while electric vehicle sales are targeting one million units by 2025. To pay for development of these new models, Volkswagen has already announced a new labor deal that will see 30,000 jobs dropped through attrition. The brand also says it will discontinue certain low-volume models and model variants.
“From 2020, we will be launching our major e-mobility offensive. As a volume manufacturer, we intend to play a key role in the breakthrough of the electric car,” said Diess. “We are not aiming for niche products but for the heart of the automobile market. By 2025, we want to sell a million electric cars per year and to be the world market leader in e-mobility,” said the brand CEO.
VW isn’t just going to sell electric cars in the U.S. either, with plans to begin producing EVs in American starting in 2021. Besides electrification, Volkswagen also wants to be a leader in connectivity, planning to have 80 million active users of its connected services by 2025.
The decision to drop diesels in the U.S., which made up one quarter of all VW sales here, is a result of the diesel emissions scandal, which saw VW installing software into its TDI diesel vehicles to trick emissions tests and then emit up to 40 times the permitted amount of pollutants into the air. In America alone, the scandal cost VW $14.7 billlion.
As part of the plan, a goal has been set by VW to grow its profit margin to 4 percent by 2020 and 6 percent by 2025. VW will invest €4.5 billion each year over the next few years, with the goal of bringing a positive impact on earnings of €3.7 billion per year by 2020.
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