Volkswagen launches efficiency program, accelerates electric push

Volkswagen launches efficiency program, accelerates electric push

Following the release of the first two electric vehicles, the Audi E-tron and Porsche Taycan, Volkswagen confirmed it had received 20,000 expressions of interest for the vehicles.

The Volkswagen Group has announced plans to make 22 million electric vehicles within the next 10 years - 7m more than its original ambition.

Volkswagen has ruled out compulsory layoffs until 2025, but early retirement of staff working in administrative positions at the company's headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, will help reduce the workforce by 5,000 to 7,000, it said.

Following a solid fiscal year 2018, Volkswagen will be boosting the pace of its transformation with the goal of becoming even more competitive globally. Return on sales for VW's namesake brand a year ago fell to 3.8% from 4.2%t because of higher spending on future electric models and production bottlenecks triggered by stricter emission rules in Europe. The company is strongly focusing on reducing its carbon emission to meet the emission standards of Europe and partly also due to increased focus by china on reducing emissions.

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Labor costs are a "big concern" that risk derailing a much needed streamlining of operations, Herbert Diess, CEO of VW, told investors March 12.

Transitioning to a fully electric production line will likely be an expensive endeavor for the company. Some carmakers lacking VW's scale have opted for electric models that'll share underpinnings with combustion models or roll down the same production lines. The move will likely be a big gamble for the company, which is now suffering from strained revenues caused by high expenditure on electric drivetrain technologies. As VW works toward the expensive dawn of the electric era, the company is struggling to push down costs and make the 12-brand behemoth more agile.

It was only on Monday during its lengthy Annual Media Conference when Volkswagen reiterated plans to roll out the eighth-generation Golf in 2019. VW will reportedly invest more than US$49 billion in the next few years to develop electric and connected vehicles.

The original plan was to introduce the new model in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but that won't be the case anymore.

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