So much has changed in the year since Volkswagen Group's directors emerged from the board room with a spending plan to turn its cars into battery-powered software devices. But don't expect that budget to do too much budging.
VW supervisory board was meeting Friday for its annual five-year financial-planning meeting. Directors have to take into account the millions of vehicle sales lost to the coronavirus pandemic. But they will not take aim at the 60 billion euros ($71 billion) earmarked a year ago to challenge Tesla's electric dominance and keep incumbent rivals including Toyota at bay.
"We are adapting, but we don't compromise on our technology road map," VW Group CEO Herbert Diess told Bloomberg in a Nov. 5 interview.
"Software is becoming an important part of our business, it will be decisive, and electrification was accelerated by COVID and not slowed down. So there is no reason why we should question the big lanes and the big directions of our planning."
VW Group allocated 33 billion euros ($39 billion) to electric mobility alone through 2024 to develop the industry's broadest lineup of battery-powered vehicles. The coming year will be pivotal to VW getting those plans off the ground even as COVID-19’s resurgence threatens major car markets.
Here's what to expect from this year's budget planning:
After overcoming software problems that delayed the ID3 electric hatchback's rollout in Europe this year, VW will go global in 2021 with its crossover sibling, the ID4. It will be built in Germany and China next year and sold in the U.S., where production will start in 2022.