At the company’s annual media conference earlier this week, VW Group CEO Matthias Müller said the company will launch new electric vehicles and set up a new firm focused on operations like car-sharing as it seeks to get past its scandal over cheating on diesel emissions tests.
The VW Group is currently working hard on the further development of its strategy, to be presented mid-year. This will focus on the major fields of future importance in the industry – such as digitalization, networking, e-mobility and new mobility services.
The Volkswagen brand is currently developing its own architecture especially for electric vehicles in the form of its Modular Electrification Toolkit, or MEB for short.
The first vehicles produced on the MEB basis are slated to hit the streets at the end of the decade. “We plan to make electric cars one of Volkswagen’s new hallmarks,” Müller explained. In addition to building up and expanding its own resources for the major fields of future importance, the Group plans to open itself up more to new partnerships and strategic investments. “The era in which our sector kept itself apart from everything is now over, once and for all. Reservations, solo efforts, or even the illusion of knowing and doing everything better will not help us reach our goals,” said Müller. He provided two examples of this: digitalization and the field of mobility services. “This is a field with high earnings potential for our industry in the coming years. We want to participate in this as much as we can,” the CEO explained. “We are working hard on very promising ideas in the field of new mobility services. The discussions on this are already at an advanced stage. In addition, we will soon form a legally independent, Group-wide company to promote business in the mobility services of the future with the necessary speed, entrepreneurial focus and the required agility,” Müller announced.
Besides the extensive realignment of the Group, working through the diesel issue will dominate activities at Volkswagen this year. Müller said that the most important task in this context is still providing compelling solutions for the customers affected. “This will remain our most important task until the very last vehicle has been put in order,” he assured. With the software manipulation of diesel engines at Volkswagen, rules were broken and ethical boundaries overstepped. “We sincerely regret this. Also because we know that we have disappointed many people – people who have placed their trust in Volkswagen. We stand by our responsibility. And we are doing everything in our power to regain trust,” Müller stressed.