"It is not enough to offer first class products," Chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder said at VW's general meeting in Hamburg April 21. "The products' return on investment also needs to leave enough room for maneuvering."
New board of directors member Wolfgang Bernhard is already working at full speed on creating "competitive cost structures" for the VW brand.
Bernhard, who will officially take his post as head of the Volkswagen brand group (including Skoda, Bentley and Bugatti) on May 1, recently decided that the planned "compact SUV" will use the instrument panel of the Golf Plus.
"Bernhard also wants to realize this kind of cost savings with other projects like the next-generation VW Polo," an insider said.
Bernhard plans to form interdisciplinary teams of people from development, quality assurance and distribution to work on new models together at an earlier stage of the development process.
VW also wants higher profits from its commercial vehicles. So commercial vehicle managers are considering models with less expensive features, such as designing the next-generation T6 vans without an independent rear suspension and underframe.