VW to build EVs at 16 factories by 2022

Matthias Mueller chief executive officer of Volkswagen says the company has secured $25bn worth of battery supplies to push into electric cars in the coming years. Krisztian Bocsi  Bloomberg

Volkswagen Plans 16 Production Sites For Electric Vehicles By 2022-end

The company has also revealed it is still looking for a battery supplier in North America.

Mr Mueller, speaking at the company's annual news conference in Berlin on Tuesday, gave an upbeat view after last year's record sales of 10.7 million vehicles. The ongoing initiative will see 16 sites around the world become home to battery-powered vehicle production before the end of 2022 - a significant jump from the mere three facilities where VW Group's electric vehicles are now being built.

Taken together the investments should help Volkswagen produce its planned 3 million electric cars a year by 2025. "This is how we intend to offer the largest fleet of electric vehicles in the world". "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".

Pressure has intensified on Volkswagen to overhaul its lineup. Diesel is key to efforts to meet tighter environmental targets because of its fuel efficiency, even though it emits smog-causing nitrogen oxides. Modern diesel drives were part of the solution, not part of the problem, he stressed-also with regard to climate change.

Unlike some of its competitors, Volkswagen isn't going entirely in on electric vehicles - for now.

Audi's E-Tron SUV will lead the next-generation rollout by launching later this year as a production vehicle - and is in a race with Jaguar to launch the first European BEV in the segment.

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The strongest hiring prospects are reported in two regions with Net Employment Outlook of 17 per cent in north and south each. Based on seasonally adjusted data, employers in Hungary report the most optimistic hiring plans in the EMEA region.

Even with the battery-supply deals, one of the largest purchasing tenders in the auto industry, Volkswagen's power-supply issues are still far from over. The first model with the I.D. nameplate will be the Neo hatchback that goes on sale in 2020. Producing the powerpacks itself is not in the cards. In particular, it has been investing in battery projects and global pollution campaigns.

Chinese manufacturer CATL, which Mueller confirmed today as one of Volkswagen's future battery providers, is considering a site in Europe for its first overseas plant, Chairman Zeng Yuqun said a week ago.

From 2019, Müller insisted, the Group that owns Porsche, Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, Seat, Skoda and Bugatti would launch a new electric auto "virtually every month".

In response, Volkswagen has started to shift its focus to environment-friendly cars. Its development spend dropped 3.9 percent in 2017, down to €13.1 billion, or about 6.7 percent of its sales turnover, and it plans to lower that to six percent by 2020.

"The results of the year 2017 demonstrate, we are actively shaping the transformation of our company".

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