Volkswagen Group is unwrapping not just new models at the Frankfurt car show, but also a tweaked logo as the world’s biggest carmaker ushers in the electric era.
Little-changed since World War II, the new VW emblem will be uncovered atop its headquarters in Wolfsburg on Monday. The new logo began to emerge in reports last month. Then later in Frankfurt, the manufacturer will unveil the VW brand’s electric-powered ID.3, the first model in an unprecedented $33 billion push to make battery-powered vehicles for the masses.
The twin steps -- both heavy with symbolism -- reflect the high stakes involved in Volkswagen’s ambitions of becoming the world’s electric-car leader just four years after the diesel-cheating scandal plunged it into the worst crisis in its history. The carmaker aims for ID.3 hatchback to become a trendsetter and take on similar status as its iconic Beetle.
“VW’s bold electric vehicle plans scare this analyst given their huge near-term costs and uncertain demand,” Max Warburton, a London-based analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein, said in a note. Former patriarch Ferdinand Piech, who died two weeks ago, “would have argued that expensive investments in new technology tend to pay off in the very long-run.”
If things work out as planned, the ID.3’s technical underpinnings, dubbed MEB, are set to emerge as a new industrial standard for battery-powered cars, which would give Volkswagen economies of scale that rivals would struggle to match. U.S. peer Ford Motor Co. has already agreed to use the technology for a high-volume car in Europe and is considering adding a second model.