New VW brand chief downplays thrust of carmaker's electric transition
dpa / Focus Online / Auto Motor und Sport
The new brand chief of VW, Ralf Brandstätter, has appeared to play down the group’s transition to a full focus on electric vehicles, news agency dpa reports in an article carried by Focus Online. In an interview in Auto Motor und Sport, Brandstätter, who will take over the role from CEO Herbert Diess on 1 July, said the company will continue to offer combustion models for “a long time.” This appeared to contradict Diess’s earlier statements that the firm’s last combustion vehicles will be developed in 2026 and launched in the early 2030s. “We have always said that in the long term we will still have different propulsion types in our program on an equal footing. With us, every customer can choose the technology that best suits their mobility needs,” Brandstätter is quoted as saying. He said this included “conventionally powered vehicles,” adding that the emissions of these vehicles will be continuously reduced.
Under Diess, VW has more actively moved into electric mobility than most other carmakers. After the Dieselgate emissions cheating scandal, it initiated a major transformation in its business. The ID.3 is its first fully electric model, based on a new vehicle platform that forms the basis for its huge electric ambitions. But mass production of the model has been hampered by many difficulties. In an interview with public broadcaster ARD, Diess also recently called for an economic stimulus package that would include support for combustion engine cars.