Economic and environmental leadership with 18 plus
Wolfsburg, 20 November 2008 – The Volkswagen Group’s focus on becoming an economic and environmental leader in the global automotive industry remains the central element of the Group Strategy 2018. For this reason, the Volkswagen AG Board of Management is intensifying efforts to continue with the successful realization of this ambitious project even in a difficult economic period.
Although economic conditions have worsened, the goals formulated in the “Strategy 2018″ nevertheless remain valid and are reaffirmed by the Board of Management. It is precisely in circumstances such as the present that the chosen course must be pursued with energy and commitment. Volkswagen will harness the strengths of the Group and its nine brands with an environmentally-oriented model range and a strong presence on world markets, and will systematically extend its competitive edge.
With 18 plus, Volkswagen is intensifying the focus for all nine Group brands with a view to meeting its targets in a market environment which has recently significantly deteriorated. 18 plus therefore serves as the basis for all Group brands to further develop their own strategies. Volkswagen, the core brand, will continue its program under the name of Mach 18 plus.
Volkswagen has set its sights on new environmental benchmarks as regards vehicles, drivetrains and lightweight construction. In this context, the company has earmarked annual expenditure for development and investments in new models and technologies in excess of €8 billion over the next few years. One focus will be on alternative drivetrains and engine development geared to systematic downsizing, i.e. new standards in both efficiency and environmental performance.
Today, the Volkswagen Group already offers two dozen models with emission values of less than 120 grammes CO2/km; a total of 106 models already meet the Euro 5 or Euro 6 emissions standard. Further new models will bring a marked increase in the number of vehicles emitting less than 100 grammes CO2/km in 2009 and 2010.
At the same time, the company is taking account of the present difficult economic conditions and the continuing uncertainty about future developments by improving processes throughout the value chain and raising productivity.
Given the worsening situation on international sales markets and the consequences of the financial crisis, Volkswagen is reviewing investment and expenditure throughout the Group. The competitiveness of plants is as important a factor as the focus on low-consumption vehicles. What is needed now is to lay the foundations for the future and to secure the sustained success of the Volkswagen Group through 18 plus.