Volkswagen bets on new technology to bounce back from crisis

Volkswagen division head Herbert Diess said that the goal is “to fundamentally change Volkswagen” as it bounces back from a scandal over cars rigged to cheat on diesel emissions tests.

Volkswagen (VLKAY) said Tuesday that it will step-up its presence in the part of its turnaround strategy, targeting a leadership position in the production of SUVs and Limousines.

CEO Matthias Mueller said it was "the biggest reform package in the history of our core brand".

Most of the cars bore the Volkswagen logo but vehicles by other VW group companies such as Audi, Seat and Skoda were also affected.

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Talking about the numerical figure based on the total of 30,000 employees getting layed off, the company claims that this would save about 3.9 billion annual expenses, which would be an attempt to regain the loss caused due to emission scandal.

Volkswagen has agreed to pay $15 billion under a settlement with US authorities and auto owners over cars equipped with software that turned off emissions controls under normal driving conditions. Around 11 million cars worldwide have the deceptive software. The scandal has served as a spur for the company to shake up its management culture and address longstanding issues such as the cost question in Germany.

He said regional managers would get "more local responsibility" to make decisions and meet local conditions.

Volkswagen hopes to bounce back from its diesel emissions scandal with a shift in focus to more battery-powered cars, digital services such as ride-sharing, and more SUVs for the USA market. Diess, a former BMW executive, said he planned to focus on the fast-growing and higher-margin SUV market in the United States, with the brand aiming to have 19 SUV models globally by 2020, up from just 2 now. Diess said at group headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, that the company expects to sell a million electric vehicles a year by 2025.

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To help cover those damages and the cost of developing battery-powered and self-driving technologies, VW reached a landmark agreement with workers last week, to cut as many as 30,000 jobs worldwide and slash 3.7 billion euros of expenses. Under the terms of the deal, Volkswagen has agreed to keep much of the future investment in new technology in Germany and to rely on voluntary departures such as early retirement, with no firings.

"The next generation of electric vehicles will be made here in Germany, not overseas", Osterloh said.

In addition to the job cuts in Germany, Volkswagen plans to cut jobs in North America, Brazil, and Argentina, although it did not provide further details.

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