WOLFSBURG, Germany -- Volks-wagen Group will sharply reduce parts complexity at its core VW brand in an effort to soften the cost impact of the diesel emissions scandal.
"The goal is to reduce the variations by at least 25 percent compared to previous models," according to an internal letter to VW executives obtained by Automobilwoche, a German sibling publication of Automotive News. "To accomplish this, more than 180 component groups in the early phase of the product development process are being analyzed and compared to group vehicles, and a certain number of variations are being established."
For the VW Golf, for example, the number of steering wheel variants is expected to be reduced to 43 from 117. Vehicles with manual and automatic transmissions are expected to share more common parts.
"The pressure has increased significantly on diesel-related issues," VW brand chief Herbert Diess recently told colleagues internally. "The VW brand has to shoulder the costs of the crisis almost completely."
Diess' warning: "We can't just keep doing business the way we always have."
Suppliers, dealers and customers will feel the impact of the cost-cutting effort.
"Another lever is the creation of packages," the VW letter said. "For example, certain engine and equipment variations are being offered as a 'package' in practical, much sought-after combinations."
The letter said there will be savings in "capital equipment and tooling" as well as development costs.