in Automotive News Europe, by Christiaan Hetzner, 19-12-2019
VW faces heavy investments into cleaner and self-driving technologies and has increased sales share of higher-margin SUVs to help fund an industry-wide shift toward low-emission vehicles.
VW’s core brand gained market share this year and has increased its operating profit substantially, VW brand’s Chief Operating Officer, Ralf Brandstaetter, said at a press event here. The brand is on track to post a record operating profit this year, he said.
“On this basis, we can secure profitability so that we can systematically invest in the electrification and digitization of our products,” he said, referring to both cost cuts and the increased share of SUVs.
The EU has mandated a reduction in CO2 fleet emissions to a fleet average of 95 grams per kilometer in 2021, down from 120.4 g/km last year, with steep fines if automakers miss their individual targets.
The CO2 cap will be phased in starting next year, when the top 5 percent of a automaker’s highest emitting vehicles can still be stripped out of the calculation.
Since vehicles with emissions below 50 g/km such as the Passat GTE are allowed to be counted twice under the supercredit system in 2020, the brand will also be broadening out its plug-in hybrid range.
“We will hybridize our portfolio from the Golf through the Tiguan all the way up to the Touareg,” Brandstaetter said.
VW did not specify the names of all the 34 new VW brand models to be launched next year, nor which markets they will be sold in. The company’s statement said the launches include 12 SUVs and eight electric or hybrid vehicles.
The brand’s new combustion engine models will include the Atlas Cross Sport SUV Coupe as well as several Golf nameplates including the GTD, Golf R, Variant Alltrack wagon and the latest generation of the Golf GTI.
“Naturally there will also be some other emotional products as well, such as the T-Roc Cabrio, the Arteon Shooting Brake and the Tiguan R,” Brandstaetter said.
With their help, VW brand aims to reach a 4 percent to 5 percent operating profit in 2020, he said.