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Volkswagen commits £30bn to paving road to electrification

Volkswagen Group chief executive Matthias Müller

Volkswagen has committed to spending over £30 billion to the development of electric mobility, autonomous driving, new mobility services and digitalization as it bids to “reinvent the car”.

The German car manufacturing giant’s share price back at levels not seen since before the dieselgate scandal earlier this month and chief executive Matthias Müller was bullish in mapping out its direction for 2018 to 2022 at a meeting of its Supervisory Board of on Friday.

Müller said: "We are reinventing the car. To achieve that, we are making targeted investments to provide the necessary funds from our own resources."

Most of the headline investment figure of 34 billion Euros (£30.4 billion) will go into the electrification and hybridization of all Group models as part of the Roadmap E electrification offensive which should see an electrified drivetrain option introduced to every model line by 2030.

Despite Müller’s claims, he said that the Group would not side-line existing technologies and vehicle projects, adding: “This is how we will earn our money for the foreseeable future”.

He said: "Given its brands and potential for synergy, I am convinced that the Volkswagen Group will master this balancing act like no other company in our industry."

For the launch of Europe's first series production of electric vehicles on the MEB platform, the Zwickau site will be remodeled into a pure-play e-mobility plant, Volkswagen said in a statement.

It added: “This will lay a key foundation for the electrification and hybridization of the Group's product portfolio. Other location decisions at the individual brands will be made as the Roadmap E is rolled out further.”

Last month Reuters reported that Volkswagen managers and unions had sought to curb competition from Skoda by moving some of its production to Germany and making the Czech brand pay more for shared technology.

Reuters sources claimed that Volkswagen wanted to reduce Skoda’s ability to combine German technology with cheaper labour and reaffirm the top-selling brand’s primacy ahead of a wave of new electric car launches.

Commenting on what it termed as “optimized plant and workforce assignment” Volkswagen’s statement on its future strategy would only reveal that “the production network linking the brands has been made even more efficient”.

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