BERLIN – Volkswagen will axe many combustion engine models by the end of the decade and sell fewer cars overall to concentrate on producing more profitable premium vehicles, its finance chief was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
“The key target is not growth,” Arno Antlitz told the Financial Times newspaper. “We are (more focused) on quality and on margins, rather than on volume and market share.”
Antlitz said VW would reduce its range of petrol and diesel cars, consisting of at least 100 models spread across several brands, by 60% in Europe over the next eight years.
The paper said VW’s new strategy was a sign of profound changes in the auto sector, which has attempted for decades to increase profits by selling more cars each year, even if that required heavy discounting.
Former VW chief executive Martin Winterkorn, who resigned in the wake of a diesel emissions scandal, had made it his goal to beat Toyota and General Motors to the title of “volume number one” by 2018.
Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Clarence Fernandez