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VW brand plans 'massive reduction' in model complexity, engine variants

Old 12-06-18, 02:28 PM
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Default VW brand plans 'massive reduction' in model complexity, engine variants

Also VW Says the Next Generation of Combustion Cars Will Be Its Last




WOLFSBURG -- Volkswagen Group's core brand aims to raise its profit margin faster than previously planned despite rising investments for electric vehicles, the automaker said on Thrusday.

The Volkswagen brand now aims to raise its profit margin to at least 6 percent in 2022, three years earlier than initially forecast. Most recently, the margin stood at 4 percent. VW had previously said it seeks to achieve an operating return on sales of at least 6 percent by 2025.

VW brand aims to invest more than 11 billion euros ($12.5 billion) in e-mobility, digitalization, autonomous driving and mobility services by 2023, including 9 billion euros for electric cars as it increases the number of battery-powered models to 20 by 2025 from two now.

To shoulder the investments, VW aims for bigger cost cuts than previously planned, with the productivity of its plants to rise by about 30 percent by 2025. The automaker will extend a cost savings and efficiency program at its core brand beyond 2020 and seek an additional 3 billion euros in cost savings by 2023.

The group did not reveal details about whether jobs would be affected but has ruled out forced layoffs.

“We must force the pace of our transformation and become more efficient and agile,” Ralf Brandstaetter, the VW brand’s chief operating officer, said. “What we have achieved so far is still not enough.”

There will be a "massive reduction" in the complexity of the model portfolio, VW said. In Europe, the brand will be discontinuing 25 percent of the engine-transmission variants with low customer demand in the coming model year. This will have positive effects on the complexity of production and the supply chain, VW said.

Entry level motorizations will only come with manual transmission in future and will no longer offer the option for an automatic transmission or all-wheel drive, Brandstaetter said.

The brand aims to underpin about 80 percent of its vehicle production with its flexible MQB architecture to save costs, up from 60 percent now.

The VW brand accounts for about half of the 12-brand VW Group’s global deliveries.

VW said that talks with Ford about extending a potential alliance beyond commercial vehicles continue and remain constructive. The company said it could cooperate in the area of electric and autonomous cars and that it had plans to increase the number of cars on offer to customers in the U.S. by at least two SUVs.

On Tuesday in Washington, VW CEO Herbert Diess said the company was also "considering building a second car plant" in the U.S., adding, "We are in quite advanced negotiations and dialog with Ford to really build up a global automotive alliance, which also would strengthen the American automotive industry."

Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford, on Tuesday said: “We haven’t gotten that granular in our talks yet, but clearly we are talking with them.”

He said the talks were going “really well” and that “the culture fit is good.”

VW will also make electric cars in the U.S. in the medium term, although no decision has been made about the production site, the automaker said at a press conference at its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany.

VW expects the era of the combustion car to fade away after it rolls out its next-generation gasoline and diesel cars beginning in 2026. From that point, VW will merely modify, rather than overhaul, its platforms for combustion engines.
Source

Volkswagen AG expects the era of the combustion car to fade away after it rolls out its next-generation gasoline and diesel cars beginning in 2026.

Traditional automakers are under increasing pressure from regulators to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions to combat climate change, prompting Volkswagen to pursue a radical shift to electric vehicles.

“Our colleagues are working on the last platform for vehicles that aren’t CO2 neutral,” Michael Jost, strategy chief for Volkswagen’s namesake brand, said Tuesday at an industry conference near the company’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany. “We’re gradually fading out combustion engines to the absolute minimum.”

The world’s largest automaker has started to introduce its first wave of electric cars, including next year’s Porsche Taycan. The rollout across its stable of 12 automotive brands is forecast to comprise about 15 million vehicles, as the company earmarks $50 billion over the next five years to spend on its transformation to self-driving, electric cars.

Production of the VW brand’s I.D. Neo hatchback will start in 12 months in Germany, followed by other models from the I.D. line assembled at two sites in China as of 2020. VW plans to launch fully or partly electric versions across its lineup of more than 300 cars, vans, trucks and motorbikes by 2030.

‘Fully Committed’


VW will continue to modify its combustion engine technology after the new platform is introduced next decade. After 2050, there may still be some gasoline and diesel models in regions where there is insufficient charging infrastructure, according to Jost.

Problems with diesel pollution in cities can be resolved with cleaner engines, but the much bigger threat in the long run is CO2 emissions, which contribute to global warming, the VW executive said.

The German manufacturer is “fully committed” to the goals outlined in the Paris climate accord, which calls for accelerating the rollout of vehicles that lower or eliminate harmful emissions, he said at an industry conference organized by daily Handelsblatt.

The gradual exit of combustion engines marks a sea change for Volkswagen, which became the poster child of car pollution after it admitted to cheating on emissions tests in a scandal involving 11 million vehicles worldwide.

“Yes, we have a clear responsibility here,” Jost said. “We made mistakes.”
Source
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Old 12-06-18, 03:19 PM
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‘Fully Committed’

To prison?

I do applaud VW for publicly stating they see the writing on the wall as far as ICE powered cars go.
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Old 12-06-18, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Lexus2000
I do applaud VW for publicly stating they see the writing on the wall as far as ICE powered cars go.
ICE vehicles, though, will probably be around longer than a lot of people think. A lot of places outside of California, such as my own condo development, still don't have outdoor recharging facilities for full-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. And, even with adequate charging facilities, a lot of folks just don't want to deal with the range-limitations of those vehicles. Yes, Teslas, when they aren't in the shop getting repaired, can run somewhat further on a charge than most other full-electrics, but they also cost an arm and a leg....many people simply can't afford them, even the base Model 3.
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Old 12-06-18, 11:23 PM
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^^ Renting older apartments in L.A. until this year I can tell you that unless someone can afford to live in very new luxury apartment buildings which may have a scant *few* EV charging stations on premises... or unless they are homeowners and can install their own 240V charger... they are MANY people in that metropolis alone who live in more modest dwellings that do not have EV charging capabilities on site let alone an accessible and exclusive 110V outlet where they park their car.... IF their particular apartment even guarantees them their own non-street parking spot at all.

Apartments that are newer and rent for more will likely have owners/landlords who are more willing to pay to upgrade some of their parking spots with EV charging stations. Not so much if what you can afford to rent is a less costly apartment with original construction dating back to the 80's, 70's or 60's.

There has been some talk in southern and northern CA of rolling out more curb side EV charging stations (which you can right now find scattered here and there in L.A. in addition to a couple of EV chargers in some shopping area parking garages/lots and in some company parking garages) but what I observed is that for most people they would at least need some reliable guarantee that they could plug their cars in at night to recharge. Right now at least I see a lot more needs to be done in this regard. New construction generally requires EV charging spots to be built but old construction that has stuck around for decades is another matter.

Hotel chains also really need to step up and make sure they have several of their parking lots set up with charging stations. That's a no-brainer right there.

It's a problem more than likely magnified even further in San Francisco and the Bay Area.

Also, California is huge and there is a LOT of distance that people travel there daily outside of the cities. There are stretches where you do not want to be without plenty of fuel or battery charge sufficient to get you well out of the boonies. This also applies to driving out to remote locales in the wilderness where you must take note of the distance to the next gas/diesel station. EV charging outside of, say, Tesla's insular "supercharger" network is at time of this post still quite spotty.

I see all of this (and eventually battery density) changing but for now yes new gas engines and a few diesels will remain for the time being while EVs and charging options gradually grow in numbers.

For most people affording (let alone building) an EV capable of excellent driving characteristics in town and on highways and 300+ miles per full charge costs a lot (understatement) of money. For city and city commute use the vehicle options and charging station density are fine but not once you step outside that narrow use pattern. Currently anyway. It won't remain a constant limitation but for right now it is.

...

Aside, from the article I read this quote and it just frustrated me... because of course it will apply only to European market VWs and will be exactly the opposite when it comes to the USA market VWs.

Article quote from main thread post:
"Entry level motorizations will only come with manual transmission in future and will no longer offer the option for an automatic transmission or all-wheel drive, Brandstaetter said."

Last edited by KahnBB6; 12-06-18 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 12-07-18, 09:08 AM
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Do you want to kill off a car company? Because that's how you kill off a car company.
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Old 12-07-18, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by mmarshall View Post
ICE vehicles, though, will probably be around longer than a lot of people think. A lot of places outside of California, such as my own condo development, still don't have outdoor recharging facilities for full-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. And, even with adequate charging facilities, a lot of folks just don't want to deal with the range-limitations of those vehicles. Yes, Teslas, when they aren't in the shop getting repaired, can run somewhat further on a charge than most other full-electrics, but they also cost an arm and a leg....many people simply can't afford them, even the base Model 3.
I'll give up my ICE cars once they can fix the charging times and ease of finding a charging stations. I'm not interesting enough to keep myself entertained for 30 min to an hr at a time to charge the things right now. Range can be solved with bigger batteries.
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Old 12-07-18, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by mmarshall View Post
ICE vehicles, though, will probably be around longer than a lot of people think. A lot of places outside of California, such as my own condo development, still don't have outdoor recharging facilities for full-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. And, even with adequate charging facilities, a lot of folks just don't want to deal with the range-limitations of those vehicles. Yes, Teslas, when they aren't in the shop getting repaired, can run somewhat further on a charge than most other full-electrics, but they also cost an arm and a leg....many people simply can't afford them, even the base Model 3.
The lithium ion battery has been around for about 25 years* in that time on average energy density has increased about 5% per year, there have been times of almost no improvements others where a leap happened. Given that, in 10 years the BEV will have more than enough range where range anxiety won't be a thing and costs will have nose dived. In the next 10 years we may see a major breakthrough in storage technology (I think this is likely) at that point there will be little sense in producing an ICE car. If we don't see a massive leap in storage density then the ICE car will hang on for awhile longer either way its days are numbered.

* compare that to how long the industry has been working on and perfecting the petrol engine.
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Old 12-07-18, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by ArmyofOne View Post
Do you want to kill off a car company? Because that's how you kill off a car company.
Yep, vast majority of people don't want electrics, especially electric VW's yet they think killing ICE engines is going to be a good idea. Good luck.
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Old 12-07-18, 12:03 PM
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Goodness. If I had any VW stock, I'd sell it.

My take:

--ICE will be around for many decades. I think the market will quickly go all-hybrid. I certainly have zero issues with my RXh, and ~30mpg.

--The inflection point where EVs just take off will come when battery packs are standardized and automatically detached from the bottom of the vehicle in a matter of minutes. A quick swap-out and you have 300 miles of range. And the empty packs are recharged at a moderate rate (for long life) at the service station.

--I'd leave CO2 fervor out of the equation for now. Unless and until nukes are enthusiastically embraced by the public, the wholesale conversion to EV will be a slow process.
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