Thursday March 16, 2017
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Despite Dieselgate, the Volkswagen Group set a new record for deliveries in 2016, selling 10.3 million cars across its myriad brands from Audi to Skoda. — Reuters picDespite Dieselgate, the Volkswagen Group set a new record for deliveries in 2016, selling 10.3 million cars across its myriad brands from Audi to Skoda. — Reuters picBERLIN, March 16 — The VW group’s plans for the coming years include 60 new models before the end of 2017, an affordable car for emerging markets by 2018 and 30 plug-in electric cars on sale by 2025.

Despite Dieselgate, the Volkswagen Group set a new record for deliveries in 2016, selling 10.3 million cars across its myriad brands from Audi to Skoda. Bentley, Lamborghini and Porsche all set all-time sales records and even the VW marque itself only experienced a 0.6 per cent dip in sales revenues. All of which has prompted the German carmaker to think big and believe that its recent worries are in the rearview mirror.

“This result demonstrates that the Group is financially equipped to bear the consequences of the diesel crisis,” said group CFO Frank Witter. According to its official figures published Tuesday, Dieselgate has thus far cost the company €22.6 billion (RM107.6 billion). “Through agreements reached in North America [VW pleaded guilty to all charges], we have taken a huge step toward overcoming the diesel issue,” said Witter.

While CEO Matthias Müller said the results show that the company is “performing better in our operating business than many thought possible. Volkswagen is back on track.”

And that track, though hugely ambitious, is also going to mean some contrition. “We will also be a leading international provider of sustainable mobility and set the standards for new mobility services. And what is at least as important to us: We will be a role model in environmental protection, safety, and integrity,” said Müller.

So alongside the 60 new models coming this year across the VW portfolio and the aim of expanding the core company’s SUV range to seven models, huge financial investments are being made in battery technology — acquiring as well as developing expertise in the area and building a centre of excellence that will start production in 2020.

The ultimate goal will be 30 fully electric vehicles on sale by 2025. However, in the meantime investment will continue in improving the efficiency of internal combustion engines and of offering a wider choice of hybrids — with 10 models coming to market by 2018 including the first plug-in Bentleys.

That will also be the year that the company’s joint venture with Indian carmaker Tata will bear its first fruit — a premium car for the economy market — and will be followed by similar jointly developed cars with FAW and JAC in China. — AFP-Relaxnews

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