HANOVER, Germany -- Volkswagen will detail a new strategy in mid-June, CEO Matthias Mueller said, according to excerpts of a speech seen by Reuters and Bloomberg on Friday.
The embattled company has been working on a new strategy for its core automobile business that it hopes will boost profitability once it emerges from an emissions test-rigging scandal which plunged the automaker into a 4.1 billion euro operating loss for 2015.
"We want to lead Volkswagen out of the company's most difficult situation ever and shape it into a mobility provider," Mueller said in a speech given to the automaker's senior managers, the copy of the speech showed.
More than 250 employees are developing the plan, which will comprise eight key initiatives across the VW group through 2025, Mueller said.
“The focus of our Strategy 2025 will be the customer with his wishes and needs,” Mueller said. “In the end, a strategy is only good if it leads to products that excite people and that they want to buy.”
VW has pledged to accelerate efforts to become more nimble as it seeks to move beyond the worst crisis in its corporate history. The scandal erupted eight months ago, when Volkswagen admitted to rigging software on as many as 11 million diesel cars worldwide to pass emissions tests.
The manipulation has sent shock waves across the industry, and triggered VW’s first annual operating loss since 1993. The company has set aside $18.2 billion (16.2 billion euros) for car repairs, fines and lawsuits, and it needs to hammer out a settlement by June 21 with U.S. authorities on what to do with vehicles there and how to compensate for the pollution caused.
VW plans to establish a new business unit that will focus on mobility services as technology companies plot inroads in the automotive industry, forcing global car manufacturers to look beyond just producing and selling vehicles.
The industry shift “will cost a high amount of money” and VW must “significantly improve cost efficiency” to pay for it, Mueller said. “It just can’t be that a company that’s selling 10 million vehicles per year doesn’t reap economies of scale and synergies to the extent possible and necessary. Some competitors are unfortunately better at that,” and VW needs to “catch up to the best.”
Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this report.