Volkswagen Group: 2021 We Aim to Sell 1 Million Electric Cars

In 2020, the Volkswagen group delivered 231,600 battery-powered vehicles, more than triple compared to 2019, and for 2021 it is aiming for a new leap forward: this year’s goal is to reach the 1 million mark of electric cars sold.

46 billion euros for electrification. The offensive on the plug of the German manufacturer, outlined during the traditional annual press conference on budget results, will be supported by a multi-billion dollar effort. The group has the ambition to become the global leader in electric mobility by 2025 and to achieve its goal it plans to invest around 46 billion euros in electrification and hybridization of the range (35 billion on battery cars alone) in five years. Range destined, already this year, to be increasingly expanded with battery-powered cars: in the first quarter the production of the Volkswagen ID.4 in Zwickau and the Audi e-tron GT in Neckarsulm began, in the second quarter the assembly will begin of the Skoda Enyaq in Mlada Boleslav and of the Audi Q4 e-tron in Zwickau, while in the third it will be the turn of the Volkswagen ID.6 in Anting (China) and in the fourth of the Cupra Born in Zwickau.

No date for the farewell to endothermic. The Wolfsburg-based manufacturer, intending to bring the share of electric on total European sales to 60% by 2030 (50% globally), however, has no intention of abandoning endothermic engines even if one of its brands, Bentley, it has already taken the same path followed by other companies in the sector such as Volvo, Jaguar or GM. The group led by Herbert Diess prefers “not to indicate a precise date for the end of internal combustion engines, due to regional differences in the use of primary energy and regulatory conditions”. In some regions, in fact, the endothermic will be available longer than in others, but in any case the number of models in the range will be reduced, the price mix will be “improved” and the cost structure will be cut to achieve greater profitability. In essence, traditional motors will have to generate increasing resources to be used to finance programs for the electric transition.

In 2020, the Volkswagen group delivered 231,600 battery-powered vehicles, more than triple compared to 2019, and for 2021 it is aiming for a new leap forward: this year’s goal is to reach the 1 million mark of electric cars sold.

New “platform” strategy. In any case, the goal is to accelerate the transformation process into an e-mobility service provider and therefore a new approach to the challenges of the future has been outlined: the Germans intend to focus on a “platform strategy”, in which models and services will be developed on a “widely standardized” technological basis to reduce complexity and exploit economies of scale and synergies between brands. Standardization will cover hardware, software, batteries, recharges and mobility services. On a purely mechanical level, the use of the Meb platform (Modulare Elektrifizierungsbaukasten) for the electric will be increasingly pervasive: there will be 27 models based on this platform by 2022, when, among other things, the first models for the segment will also be launched. premiums developed on the Ppe (Premium Platform Electric) architecture. A new platform is also expected to arrive by 2025, the Scalable Systems Platform (SSP). The IT systems will also be completely standardized: all brands will use the VW.OS operating system of the Car.Software division, born in 2020. In terms of batteries and recharging, the strategy was outlined yesterday on the occasion of Power Day: the group bets on new prismatic cells which will be produced in six European “gigafactories” and which by 2030 will be installed on 80% of the electric vehicles produced by the brands of the Wolfsburg giant.

2020. Obviously, the press conference was an opportunity to provide an insight into the economic performance of the Wolfsburg manufacturer in 2020 and the prospects for the next few years. “The Volkswagen group has once again demonstrated its solidity in 2020, despite the continuing challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Our operating profit, net of extraordinary components, is over 10 billion euros and has significantly exceeded expectations. at the height of the pandemic in the spring of 2020. We are delighted that, despite the pandemic, the Volkswagen Group has achieved its strategic goal of generating cash flows of more than € 10 billion in 2020, “said outgoing CFO Frank Witter, recalling the positive contribution of China, Porsche and financial services to the results already partially presented at the end of February.

Financial targets. Last year the conglomerate missed the limit for CO2 emissions in Europe by about 0.8 g / km (0.3 grams more than preliminary indications), but plans to meet the target for 2021 thanks to the increase in sales of electrified. For this year, Wolfsburg is aiming for a continuous recovery of its financial performance, while for the next few years it aims to gradually increase the operating margin thanks to improved sales and increasing discipline in the management of operating costs (fixed expenses will be reduced by 2 billion by 2023 and those for materials by 7%) and investments: from 4.8% in 2020 it will have to rise to 5-6.5% in 2021, to 6-7% in 2022 to reach 7-8 % in 2025. “2020 was an unprecedented year in which we faced the greatest challenges in our history”, Diess emphasized, sending out a clear message: “Our good performance in 2020, a year dominated by the crisis, it will give the impetus to accelerate our transformation. ” However, there is no lack of significant risks, as admitted by the new financial director Arno Antlitz: from the development of the health situation to the shortage of semiconductors, which should have repercussions for the whole year and resolve in any case in the second half with a recovery of the production so far lost ( already 100 thousand vehicles) in the first part of 2021.

Bugatti does not switch to Rimac. Diess also spoke of some extraordinary transactions on the management table. For example, the sale of Bugatti, the subject of numerous press rumors in recent months, has been ruled out. The Molsheim company “will not be transferred to Rimac”, assured the top manager, specifying how the French brand is destined to end up at the center of a wider reorganization within the Volkswagen group: “Bugatti in the future will be managed by Porsche”. The latter plans to expand its current partnership with the Croatian manufacturer by setting up a new joint venture. Diess also denied the rumors about a possible listing on the stock market of the Zuffenhausen house: “There is no need”.


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