Volkswagen’s new chief executive Thomas Schafer has made a u-turn in the company’s strategy, focusing on reducing “the portfolio of models” as well as introducing “proper vehicles.”
“We need to get back our spirit, our heart, and create new iconic people’s cars,” Schafer told the Sunday Times.
The German manufacturer has been through a turbulent few months, plagued by unsatisfactory results, boardroom reshuffles and production issues.
In July the group’s chief executive Herbert Diess was reportedly fired after delays in the development of software set back the launch of Volkswagen’s electric models.
Diess was replaced by Porsche’s chief Oliver Blume – who also remained at Porsche’s helm – while Schafer took the reins of Volkswagen.
The marque’s electric cars, the ID.3 and ID.4, also received a tepid response from both critics and consumers.
As part of his plan, Schafer will launch next year the ID.2, a smaller version of the previous models, while fixing the ID.3 AND ID.4 “by changing their hardware and software.”
Volkswagen nevertheless remains Tesla’s main rival when it comes to electric vehicle (EV) production.
Despite snatching Tesla’s crown in Europe, the group’s global EV production is still lagging behind that of the US powerhouse, as last year VW Group delivered 452,900 vehicles against Tesla’s 935,950.
According to a report published in June by Bloomberg Intelligence, Volkswagen will overtake Tesla as the world’s largest EV maker by 2024.