Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Business | By Max Garcia

Volkswagen bets big on electric with $25 billion battery bonanza

Volkswagen bets big on electric with $25 billion battery bonanza

Volkswagen group's record earnings drove up Chief Executive Matthias Mueller's salary package by about 40 percent previous year, to 10.14 million euros ($12.47 million) in pay and benefits, the carmaker said on Tuesday. "We are putting nearly Euro 20 billion into our conventional vehicle and drive portfolio in 2018, with a total of more than Euro 90 billion scheduled over the next five years".

The three new electric vehicles are just the tip of the iceberg as Müller said the Volkswagen Group will introduce a new electric vehicle "virtually every month" starting in 2019.

"Over the last few months, we have pulled out all the stops to implement "Roadmap E" (Volkswagen's EV rollout plan) with the necessary speed and determination". "This is how we intend to offer the largest fleet of electric vehicles in the world".

The company announced partnerships with battery manufacturers in Europe and China to be able to push out electric vehicle batteries effectively and efficiently, totaling approximately 20 billion euros.

The Volkswagen Group has seen significant advancement in its futuristic electric vehicle concepts over the past few years, with new models, such as Bentley's EXP 12 Speed 6e, Audi's stylish e-tron quattro and Volkswagen's ID Vizzion, demonstrating the group's commitment to its new, forward-looking strategy. Volkswagen added that it is now looking for suppliers in North America.

The company still reiterated its commitment to "conventional vehicles", which we assume means diesel and gasoline vehicles. Yet, Muller said electrification does not mean the firm is moving away completely from conventional technologies. The company has already repaid billions in costs and fines for dodging emission level tests.

"We are making massive investments in the mobility of tomorrow, but without neglecting current technologies and vehicles that will continue to play an important role for decades to come", says Müller.

"We are financially robust and strategically well-positioned", Müller said during the conference.

On its outlook for 2018, Volkswagen Group said it expects deliveries to customers to moderately exceed the prior-year figure.

The Volkswagen Group plans to have electric cars wearing all 12 of its automotive brands, plus its Volkswagen Commercial operation and its trucking companies, MAN and Scania. In terms of operating profit, an operating return on sales of between 6.5 and 7.5 percent is anticipated. North America will soon follow.

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