VW vows to build 22-million electric cars over next decade

Net profit for the year rose 6 per cent to 12.2 billion euros. "We will significantly step up the pace of our transformation so as to make Volkswagen fit for the electric and digital era".

Volkswagen is gearing up its electric-car onslaught, adding more battery vehicles to expand a bet that has already strained profit margins at the world's largest carmaker.

"The measures from the earnings improvement programme will enable our brand to achieve a competitive return level of 6 per cent in 2022", board member Arno Antlitz said in a statement. It says it wants to introduce 70 all-electric or hybrid-electric vehicles across its brand range within the next 10 years, which is more than the 50 it had previously cited. Diess also added that they will not be following other companies who are building hybrid vehicles as going the fully-electric route will be the most efficient way for them cut their Carbon dioxide emissions.

The VW vehicle brand, which accounts for about half of the group's global deliveries, employs about 1,85,000 workers out of a total workforce of 6,50,000.

Volkswagen has struggled to raise profitability at the VW brand for years. Volkswagen's chief executive officer, Herbert Diess, explained during the recently held Capital Market's Day that building fully-cars as opposed to electric and combustion drivetrains is a much more efficient approach.

Diess, who also heads the VW brand, has been axing slow-selling models and auto variants to reduce complexity.

The company said operating results for the group in 2018 rose 0.4 per cent to 17.1 billion euros on sales that rose 2.7 per cent to 235.8 billion euros. He stressed a job guarantee until at least 2025 remains in place with any reductions based on voluntary agreements and called for a labor pact to retrain staff.

At the same time, VW plans to increase investment in "future issues" to 19 billion euros by 2023, 8 billion euros more than originally planned.

  • Eleanor Harrison