Volkswagen bets on new technology to bounce back from crisis

The dashboard of a Volkswagen Golf SE

The dashboard of a Volkswagen Golf SE

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen hopes to bounce back from its crisis with a shift in focus to more battery-powered cars, digital technologies such as autonomous vehicles, and an increase in sales of SUVs in the U.S.

Finally ending over a year's worth of speculation, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess has confirmed the brand will never again offer a diesel-powered auto in the United States.

As part of the plan, a goal has been set by VW to grow its profit margin to 4 percent by 2020 and 6 percent by 2025.

Shares in Volkswagen, whose 12 brands range from upmarket Audi and Porsche to the cheaper SEAT and Skoda, rose 0.42 percent to close at 120.45 euros.

The move is more fallout from the German automaker's diesel emissions cheating scandal, which is only partially resolved.

North American production of electric cars will start in 2021.

But it's also reflective of a shrinking market for diesel cars and increasingly stringent regulations, a Volkswagen executive said.

It should be noted that diesel vehicle sales were once a quarter of Volkswagen brand's total sales in the country and it is now obvious that diesel cars would not be a part of the company's future lineup in the United States.

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Volkswagen, with 624,000 employees around the world, sells roughly the same number of cars as Toyota and General Motors - around 10 million a year.

"We will be significantly stepping up our activities in the United States of America", he said in a statement, adding that the main focus will be on key segments such as large sport utility vehicles.

Currently, all Audi and Volkswagen TDI models in the US have been left out of showrooms and will likely remain absent for years, according to Green Car Reports. VW's productivity is nearly 30 percent lower to other competitive brands like that of Toyota.

If you're an Audi fan, you were probably sad to learn that your fave luxury brand plans to offer just one diesel model in its USA lineup.

Volkswagen is again in talks due to announcement of cutting 30,000 jobs, wherein the maximum layoff will be in Germany itself with a figure of 23,000 employees.

On the flip side, Volkswagen will introduce 9000 new jobs in high technologies and software development to become less reliant on outside suppliers. "Only a few things will remain as they are".

Top employee representative Bernd Osterloh said "the next generation of electric vehicles will be made here in Germany, not overseas".

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