During its annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday, Volkswagen vowed for a cleaner and better future for the embattled automaker, a strategy focused on electrification, petrol particulate filters, streamlined operations, autonomous tech and mobility services.
Volkswagen has presented in full details its “Together – Strategy 2025″ in front of around 3,000 of the company’s shareholders in Hanover, a plan aimed to put behind the diesel emissions scandal. But first, some apologies were in order. “We sincerely regret that the diesel issue is casting a shadow on this great company,” Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch stated during the meeting. “It is all the more painful, for you, for us, and for me personally that rules were broken and ethical boundaries transgressed,” Chief Executive Matthias Mueller added.
One of the cleanest steps targets the Group’s new TSI and TFSI engines that will be fitted with particulate filters, starting with the 1.4 liter TSI in the new VW Tiguan and the Audi A5 in June 2017. VW claims this will reduce particulate emissions by up to 90 percent, while up to 7 million of its cars could be equipped with this technology each year by 2022.
It also appears that the European recall program to fix around 8.5 million affected models is finally picking up some speed, as Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority recently approved fixes for around 1 million further vehicles, primarily Golf models. This means that more than 3.7 million over-polluting cars could be mended, including the VW Passat, Tiguan and Caddy, all variants of the Golf, the Seat Exeo, the Skoda Superb and some Audi models such as the A3, A4 and Q5.
In the future, Volkswagen said that emissions tests would be externally evaluated by independent third parties and real-world on road random checks would also be introduced.
CEO Muller also reiterated the goal of deploying more than 30 purely battery-powered electric vehicles over the next ten years, estimating that such green models could then account for around a quarter of Group’s global passenger car sales, equivalent of around 2-3 million units.
Autonomous tech and self-driving services are other key aspects in the transformation of its core business, contributing to boosts its investments in these areas.