THE Volkswagen Group is to reduce spending by €1 billion (nearly £742m) a year and refocus its development programme to put an emphasis on an electric future.
Announcing the strategy following the diesel emissions scandal, the newly-appointed VW board has overhauled the diesel range, with cars fitted with selective catalytic reduction and AdBlue to be solely offered in future.
It added that only diesels equipped with exhaust emissions systems that use the best environmental technology would now be sold.
The brand is now focusing on the development of electric powertrains, particularly plug-in hybrids with greater range, mass-made electric vehicles with a range of up to 186 miles, and a 48-volt power supply system.
VW also says it will design a new modular electric tool kit suitable for multiple brands in the group. It is intended for both passenger and light commercial vehicles of all body types and will have a range of 155 to 310 miles.
The showcase for this new direction will be a reimagined Volkswagen Phaeton, believed to be pitched as an all-electric rival for the Tesla Model S. The new flagship model is expected to reach production by the end of the decade.
Chief executive Dr Herbert Diess said: ‘We are very aware that we can only implement these innovations for the future of the Volkswagen brand effectively if we succeed with our efficiency programme and in giving our product a range of new focus.
‘Together with my board of management colleagues and the entire team we are working at top speed on these issues. Time and again, the Volkswagen team has proved it stands united and is fully focused on shaping the future, particularly when times are tough. We have now laid the further foundations for that.’
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