Automakers have been elbowing each other out of the way to draw attention to their electrified product plans, but the bold prognostications of Volkswagen Group's future might top them all.
CEO Herbert Diess — who this month secured a contract extension until 2025 — laid out a vision of a much different automotive world than the one that exists today and said the group is poised to take full advantage of those changes. Last week, while unveiling a wide-ranging strategy for the next decade called "New Auto," the company predicted:
- A 20 percent collapse in global industrywide sales of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles over the next 10 years
- Near parity in ICE-powered and electric vehicle sales for the VW Group by 2030
- The appearance and growth of a third main revenue stream for itself from digital products including temporary upgrades and over-the-air repairs that VW believes will grow to nearly rival revenue from sales of combustion-engine- powered and electric vehicles
- Level 4 autonomous vehicles available for consumers by 2026
- That its U.S. market share across its many brands (VW, Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley) could jump to 10 percent by 2030 from about 4 percent now because of EVs
- That it is in position to overtake Tesla as the world's largest retailer of EVs as early as 2025."The new world of individual mobility will bring other benefits for society too. Electric cars will serve as the relevant buffer to stabilize grids and shave the peaks off oversupply. For our business models, that means revenues and profit pools will shift gradually through 2030, first from internal combustion engines or ICEs to electric vehicles, and later to software and services," Diess said. "We will be more profitable with EVs because batteries and charging will increase the share in value add. And with our platforms, we will be more competitive."
- Stephanie Brinley, principal analyst at IHS Markit, said, "Volkswagen has been leading up the vision of 'New Auto' for several years, reflected on prior announcements regarding platforms, batteries and car software development. Because VW has laid the groundwork, there is credibility for the endeavor."
- The plan "ties everything together in a more cohesive road map — a very aggressive one," she continued. "Volkswagen's general direction is also one that is being chased by several other automakers as well, including GM and Ford. While VW is at the leading edge of these developments, it is not alone and will have hungry competition at each step of the way."