Car: VW wants to speed up the electric ramp-up

Car: VW wants to speed up the electric ramp-up

VW boss Blume wants to quickly make the company fit for the future and is banking on “Europe Speed”. There was also some criticism at the annual general meeting. However, VW had effectively prevented protests in the hall.

Despite the current lull in electric cars, Volkswagen wants to keep up the pace of e-mobility. “We see electric mobility as the future of the automotive industry,” said CEO Oliver Blume at the online annual general meeting in Wolfsburg. The company even wants to increase the pace of developing new vehicles.

Within three years, the company wants to bring a new entry-level electric model onto the road for around 20,000 euros. This will show that “Volkswagen is able to develop quickly. Efficiently and effectively – with Europe Speed.” Up to now, the development of new models at VW has usually taken five years.

The new pace is part of Blume’s plan to make the company fit for the future and prepare it for the time after the combustion engine, which is how the Wolfsburg-based company has earned most of its money so far. Blume called for more support from politicians for the electric course. “It is important that the ramp-up of e-mobility is supported by all sides. A clear stance is also required from politicians.” The manufacturers now need planning security above all. Voices have recently been raised in the EU calling for a departure from the goal of switching completely to electric cars by 2035.

Production in Germany too expensive

“The €20,000 VW will set standards in terms of design, quality, equipment and technology at an attractive price,” said Oliver Blume, referring to the new model with the working title ID.1, for which the board had given the green light the day before. And VW will build it in Europe. VW has not yet revealed exactly where in Europe the car will be built. But Germany is not an option, Blume added. VW had already awarded the ID.2all, planned for 2026 for €25,000, to the group’s subsidiary Seat in Spain for cost reasons.

This time, Blume did not have to fear protests in the hall like in Berlin a year ago. As a precaution, the company had only invited its shareholders to the online annual general meeting digitally. There were protests by climate activists in Wolfsburg, but only on a small scale: some activists occupied a roof at the gate, hung up banners and invited a few participants to a rally in front of the factory. Last year, climate and human rights activists seriously disrupted the in-person meeting in the Berlin CityCube, and VW supervisory board member Wolfgang Porsche (80) was narrowly missed by a cake thrown at him on the podium.

Shareholder representatives criticized the decision to now hold purely virtual meetings again. “In Berlin, you had to duck away from the cake flying towards you, and today – in virtual space – you are ducking away from your shareholders,” said Ingo Speich of DekaBank. “This is very regrettable and is damaging not only the corporate culture, but especially the shareholder culture in Germany.” Marc Liebscher of the Association for the Protection of Capital Investors also demanded that the format introduced during the Corona pandemic should not become the norm.

Source: Stern

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