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Volkswagen Group to slash line-up to focus on premium vehicles, executive confirms

  • Volkswagen group could cut up to 60 models by 2030
  • Firm shifting focus towards high-margin premium brands including Porsche and Audi
  • Executive says strategy is ‘less dependent on growth’

Time 11:15 am, April 6, 2022

Volkswagen is set to slash up to sixty per cent of its petrol and diesel models in order to focus on money-spinning premium cars, one of the firm’s executives has announced.

Arno Antlitz, chief financial officer of Volkswagen Group, said the firm is planning to change direction and focus on margins rather than sales volumes.

The group currently makes around 100 different petrol and diesel models across its various brands but as many as 60 could be axed as part of the restructure.

The change-up is expected to be complete by 2030 – the same year the UK government is planning to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.

It had previously been expected that more petrol and diesel models would survive in electrified form.

Antlitz said: ‘The key target is not growth. We are [more focused] on quality and on margins, rather than on volume and market share.’

The policy, which could have a significant knock on effect on dealers, represents a huge change for Volkswagen.

Former CEO Martin Winterkorn previously made it his goal to beat Toyota and General Motors to the title of ‘volume number one’ by 2018.

The Financial Times reports that the change has come partially as a result of the semiconductor crisis, which forced VW to pour its limited resources into its premium brands.

The result was record-breaking profits and it now looks like the strategy is here to stay.

Antlitz added: ‘We have [a significantly] lower fixed-cost base, so we are less dependent on volume and less dependent on growth.’

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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