Today, Volkswagen announced its intention to transform itself into a “software-driven mobility provider”. These buzzwords represent a profound change for the company – and the industry – as it turns to an electrified and digitized automotive future. However, this transformation will take time, which means VW will continue to rely on combustion engines for the foreseeable future.
Its gas-powered decade will continue to rely on a stable of commodities – Golf, Passat, T-Roc and Tiguan. VW CEO Ralf Brandstätter said the company “will still need combustion engines for a while”, adding that they should also be “as efficient as possible”. The VW boss said the next-generation version of these products – which will be available worldwide – will feature the latest plug-in hybrid technology that will allow up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) of all-electric range.
Not too surprisingly, VW’s main lineup lacks any mention of the Arteon. A report late last year noted that a second-generation model is unlikely to happen as the company focuses on top-selling crossovers and SUVs. VW has positioned the Arteon as a sleek and stylish sedan, even though sales have been abysmal. VW recently gave it a facelift, although it still feels like it’s a product that lives on borrowed time. Sedans are still not popular with consumers.
VW’s digital transformation will not happen overnight, even as it invests € 16 billion in “e-mobility, hybridization and digitization” through 2025. This means we will see more than new products this year, such as the all-wheel drive-drive ID.4 GTX in the first half of 2021, followed by the ID.5 in the second half. China will also see the ID.6 X / Crozz arrive this fall. The company also plans to place a new model under the ID.3, which has been postponed for two years until 2025. VW has forecast a busy decade.