Frankfurt insight: The electric future of Volkswagen
“It was a radical decision at the time and no one ever thought that in three-and-a-half years’ time, the Zwickau factory would be finishing producing conventional cars and become an all-electric plant by spring next year,” said Jürgen Stackmann Volkswagen brand board member, for sales and marketing.
“We also have a partnership with two Asian battery factories on line, which represents a huge investment in Europe, as well as thousands of jobs. Not only Zwickau, but once the current generation of Passat runs out at Amden, that will also be converted into an electric plant. We’re looking at eight plants by 2022, which is a massive investment.”
According to Stackmann, VW has a fleet of 50 million cars running around the planet “and if you take the production of that and the cars driving around into account, we’re looking at a 1% human made CO2 content from one company.
“That’s a lot, and our commitment is to have a zero CO2 level by 2050, that’s in three car generations,” he said.
“The ID family represents the future, but we need to see the current range of cars running separately, but alongside the ID brand. Electric cars aren’t for everyone, long distances are still an issue so high-tech modern cars still have a place and even conventional diesel cars, that are now almost zero emission.”
“The Golf is still our core model, even though we sell more Tiguans around the world. In a few weeks, you’ll see the Golf 8 and it will be loaded with technology, so people have a choice but you’ll always have customers that love the brand and want high-tech, so for them the Golf is perfect.”
A few years ago, a survey among EU consumers showed a preference of less than 2% for electric cars but Stackmann says VW have committed and there’s no going back.
“As people have become more aware around electric, there has been a perception change, but VW have made the decision and we’re sticking to the plan.
“There is no plan B, we are in it and we will make it happen, we’re starting in Europe followed by china and North America.”