Volkswagen Group is massively expanding electric car production worldwide

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Volkswagen Group is massively expanding electric car production worldwide-massively

The “Roadmap E” is gaining momentum, the Volkswagen Group is implementing the transition to electromobility at full speed: battery-electric vehicles are to be produced at 16 locations worldwide by the end of 2022. This was announced by Matthias Muller, CEO of Volkswagen AG, at the Group’s annual press conference in Berlin.

E-vehicles are currently being produced in the group at three locations, and nine other plants in the group should be ready for this in just two years. Partnerships have already been agreed with battery manufacturers in Europe and China in order to secure the battery capacities for the massive expansion of environmentally friendly electromobility. The scopes ordered so far amount to a volume of around 20 billion euros. The supplier decision for North America is imminent.

“In the past few months, we have pulled out all the stops to implement the ‘Roadmap E’ quickly and decisively,” said CEO Muller in Berlin. Last fall, Volkswagen announced with its “Roadmap E” that it would build up to three million electric cars per year by 2025 and bring 80 new electrified Group models onto the market. In addition to the eight e-cars and plug-in hybrids that the group already has in its range, nine more new vehicles will be added this year – three of them purely e-vehicles.

E-model offensive “almost every month”

Some innovations from the group were presented at the Geneva Motor Show last week, such as the Audi e-tron, the Porsche Mission E and the I.D. Vizzion another member of the Volkswagen I.D.-family. From 2019, the e-model offensive will continue “almost every month”, said Muller: “Across all brands and regions, we want to have the world’s largest electric fleet on the road in just a few years.”

However, the CEO emphasized that this does not mean turning away from conventional drives. The modern diesel drive is – also with a view to climate protection – part of the solution, not the problem. “We are investing heavily in the mobility of tomorrow – but without neglecting the current technologies and vehicles, which will continue to play an important role for decades to come,” said Muller. “In 2018 alone, almost 20 billion euros will flow into our conventional vehicle and drive portfolio; over the next five years it is expected to total over 90 billion euros.”

The important future issue of “digitization” is being driven forward in the group by a separate board committee headed by Group CEO Muller. “The future of mobility is slowly taking shape, as is the future shape of the Volkswagen Group,” says Muller. The best example of this is the SEDRIC, with which the Volkswagen Group demonstrated the potential of fully autonomous driving for the first time. The SEDRIC designed in the group will in future be “further developed towards series production by one of our group brands,” announced Muller.

Change is becoming “more concrete, more visible, more tangible from day to day”

The transformation of the entire group initiated in 2016 is becoming “more concrete, more visible and more tangible from day to day,” says Muller. With TOGETHER – Strategy 2025, the company got exactly the jolt it needed at Volkswagen. “2017 was an excellent year for the Volkswagen Group and its brands. We are back on the offensive – and we will remain so,” emphasized the CEO. This applies in particular to electromobility.

The realignment is already paying off throughout the group. “We are financially robust and strategically positioned correctly,” says Muller. “A lot has happened for us. And we still have a lot to do. The tanker Volkswagen has changed direction. Course: future!”

The Volkswagen Group is financially well equipped for change. Despite billions in outflows due to the diesel crisis, net liquidity remained at a very solid level at the end of 2017 at EUR 22.4 billion.

Key figures 2017: Strong result despite the diesel issue

The Volkswagen Group closed the 2017 fiscal year successfully. Record values were achieved in almost all key figures, above all in the number of vehicles delivered: 10.7 million customers worldwide – more than ever before – chose a model from a Group brand last year. This includes the sales of the Chinese joint ventures that took place in the 2017 reporting year (incl. Hong Kong and imports) have delivered 4.2 million vehicles to customers. That was 5.1 percent more than a year earlier.

Group sales also rose to a new record in 2017. “Group sales of EUR 230.7 billion were 6.2 percent above the previous year’s figure, which means we have set a new record,” explained CFO Frank Witter. The operating return before special items increased from 6.7 to 7.4 percent.

A profit share of 11.4 billion euros was generated for the shareholders of Volkswagen AG. Witter: “The Board of Management and the Supervisory Board are pleased to be able to propose to the shareholders a dividend of EUR 3.90 per ordinary share and EUR 3.96 per preference share.”

Outlook for 2018

For the year as a whole, the Group expects deliveries to Volkswagen Group customers in 2018 to moderately exceed the prior-year figure. Challenges in the current fiscal year arise primarily from the economic environment, increasing competition, volatile exchange rates and the diesel issue. In addition, a new, more time-consuming test procedure for determining pollutant and CO2 emissions as well as fuel consumption in passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (WLTP) applies in the EU.

It is expected that the Volkswagen Group’s sales will be up to five percent higher than in the previous year. An operating return of between 6.5 and 7.5 percent is expected for the operating result.

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