Volkswagen Group has given itself ten years to catch up with Toyota in terms of productivity and profit as part of CEO Martin Winterkorn’s pledge to close the gap in performance between the two carmakers. The timeframe is backed by Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking, who sees Toyota’s success as a benchmark that VW must reach. Wiedeking is also a member of the VW board and is the mastermind behind Porsche’s acquisition of a 31% stake in VW. There are rumors
this may even increase to 51% but either way Wiedeking will be playing an increasing role at VW.
The new ten-year plan is still being drafted but it’s likely to be similar to Winterkorn’s original ‘Route 15’ plan, which he instilled at Audi during his stint as CEO of the premium brand. One official revealed to Automotive News
that the new plan has set 2018 as a target and it will include both “sales and financial goals.”
One advantage Toyota has over VW is its strong presence in the US, where VW’s major brands are still regarded as small players. According to analysts, VW needs to increase volume while also improve productivity. The key will be to take advantage of parts sharing and extending the life-cycle of components.
VW is not alone in setting a new strategic plan. Rivals BMW, Daimler are currently reviewing their strategic plans as is PSA Peugeot-Citroen, which is expected to announce a new strategy within months.