Volkswagen plans to dominate the electric car industry. This is regardless of the plans of other auto giants and Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA).
Volkswagen management said it would increase its e-mobility manufacturing operations to 16 locations by the end of 2022. CEO Matthias Müller remarked:
Over the last few months, we have pulled out all the stops to implement “Roadmap E” with the necessary speed and determination. When “Roadmap E” was launched last fall, Volkswagen announced plans to build up to three million electric vehicles annually by 2025 and market 80 new electric Group models. This year, another nine new vehicles, three of which will be purely electric-powered, will be added to the Group’s electric portfolio of eight e-cars and plug-in hybrids.
Roadmap E is VW’s overall plan to push into the global electric vehicle business. VW also made certain that customers and suppliers won’t think it will abandon tradition vehicles, particularly those with clean diesel engines.
Despite VW’s programs, which clearly indicate its plan to become the world leader in electric vehicles, it faces competition from, at the very least, Ford, GM and Toyota. Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) recently announced it has plans to have unit sales of more than 5.5 million electric vehicles by 2030. General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) says it will have 20 or more electric vehicles by 2023.
Tesla is considered the leader in the electric car business now. It already produces and sells its Model S sedan and Model X sport utility vehicle. The company will shortly launch it mass-market Model 3. Management at Tesla says it will have facilities and batteries to produce several hundred thousand cars a year before the end of the decade.
VW’s announcement shows it believes it can move ahead of other companies in the electric car business if it invests tens of billions of dollars and uses its engineering and product management skills and its globally recognized brand. By themselves, these only guarantee VW will make an investment, but not whether the investment will be successful.