The four rings brand has to react faster to the changes of the automotive market and it also has to take more risks in the future, Audi’s technical boss thinks.
The automotive industry is on a fast pace and all the automakers have to speed things up and keep up with market’s trends. As more and more technologies are being developed, they have to be swiftly implemented to be one step ahead the rivals. Volkswagen has announced at the Geneva Auto show that it aimed to “become a leading mobility provider by 2025.” The man in charge of technical development at Audi, Stefan Knirsch, believes that the brand can learn the fast tempo implemented by Silicon Valley companies, such as Tesla, and to take more risks in the future. “There are things we can learn from Silicon Valley, but also things they could learn from us,” he said – cited by the Autocar magazine -, a view also shared by VW CEO Matthias Muller. “The point about learning from Tesla is increasingly less relevant in some ways: in Silicon Valley terms they are not considered fast moving or risk takers, and less so as they have to invest in manufacturing facilities and focus on profits,” Knirsch added. “They are becoming more conventional in those ways.”
Volkswagen Group plans to increase its investment in electric and self-driving technologies in the near future. The German automaker currently has nine electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids in its product range and intends to add a further 20 models by 2020. “All-electric ranges of over 500 km are feasible by the end of the decade, Muller said at Geneva. “Charging will only take as long as a coffee break. And in the long term an electric car will cost less than a car with an internal combustion engine”, the CEO concluded.