Volkswagen I.D. electric car concept, 2016 Paris auto showEnlarge Photo
As it continues to deal with its diesel emissions scandal and push into electric cars, the Volkswagen Group in the past week has been making statements on future strategy.
On Friday we learned that the automaker planned to shed around 30,000 jobs over the coming years as it scales back production of internal combustion cars and switches to electrics, which require less assembly work due to their less complex powertrains.
And on Tuesday we got an update on the plans for the namesake VW brand in a statement made by brand boss Herbert Diess. His plan, titled Transform 2025+, has two main tenets: boosting operating margins and investing in electric cars.
Herbert DiessEnlarge Photo
Of most interest is Diess’ specific plans for North America. He said VW plans to significantly step up its activities, particularly in the United States where he said more SUVs and sedans were coming. New models in the pipeline include the Atlas, a redesigned Tiguan, a redesigned Touareg, a redesigned CC, a flagship SUV previewed by the T-Prime Concept GTE, and potentially two small SUVs previewed by the respective T-Roc and T-Cross Breeze concepts.
In the area of electric cars, Diess confirmed that cars based on the VW Group’s new MEB platform for electric cars will be produced in North America from 2021, potentially at the automaker’s plant in Tennessee. The VW brand is expected to have at least five cars based on the MEB platform, two of which have been previewed by the Budd-e and I.D. concept cars. Diess also said that VW will be building up the infrastructure to support electric cars.
Separately, Diess said that diesel in the U.S. is effectively dead, at least as far as VW is concerned. His comments end speculation that VW may revert to selling diesels locally once its emissions scandal was over. Unfortunately, the scandal has caused rival firms to rethink their own diesel plans for the U.S, one of which is reportedly Mercedes-Benz.