On June 14, local time, the Volkswagen brand officially launched the "accelerating towards 6.50 Global performance" program, which aims to increase revenue by 10 billion euros by 2026 and achieve a sustainable return on investment of 6.5%. To this end, Volkswagen announced a series of cost-cutting and efficiency-enhancing measures, including streamlining and accelerating administrative processes, improving development and production efficiency, streamlining the lineup of models and further improving product quality. According to Volkswagen's plan, all measures should be up and running by October 2023.
In the future, low-sales models will be discontinued. At the working meeting on the same day, Thomas Sch ä fer, CEO of the Volkswagen brand, said, for example, that Volkswagen planned to focus on higher-selling models in the future, but Volkswagen did not specifically point out which models had low sales, but only mentioned Arteon (domestic Volkswagen CC), which may no longer launch new models after 2024 models, and then be replaced by electric cars, but Volkswagen did not specify the time point of stop production. In addition to stopping production of low-sales models, Volkswagen will also reduce the number of models, resulting in higher profits, while optimizing the plant's capacity utilization to better cope with market demand and fluctuations.
In addition, the plan may involve "layoffs". The cost impact of electrification transformation on the automotive giants is greater than expected, because the electric industry chain requires less labor, and most of the existing employees do not have the relevant skills needed for the transformation. In the process of transition to electric vehicles, when all businesses, organizations and even production chains are faced with adjustment and restructuring, personnel change and reduction is inevitable.
The fuse of Volkswagen's brand plan comes from the profit performance of increasing hip-pulling. The operating profit of Volkswagen Group in the first quarter of 2023 was 5.7 billion euros, with an operating profit margin of 7.5%, including 10.8% for Audi, 18.2% for Porsche and 3% for Volkswagen, according to the results. As the main brand with the largest proportion of revenue in the group, the Volkswagen brand has not created enough profit performance.
In addition, Volkswagen's large-scale investment in electric cars is also one of the main reasons for promoting the plan. A few days ago, the Nippon Keizai Shimbun combined with QUICK FactSet data to calculate the global automotive research and development expenditure in 2023. The results show that Volkswagen has become the largest auto company / group invested in R & D in 2023, and is expected to invest about $16.27 billion this year, equivalent to 67.5% of last year's total profit.
In fact, Volkswagen is more determined than any traditional car company in the electrified transformation. At the 2022 financial meeting, Volkswagen announced its investment plan for the next five years: to spend 180 billion euros to promote the group's battery strategy, expand its business in North America, and strengthen its digital strength and product competitiveness in China. And continue to develop the group's leading product portfolio. It is understood that of the 180 billion euros invested, about 68% of the money will be invested in future areas related to digitization and electrification.
A few days ago, Volkswagen's first factory in Anting, Shanghai, has been closed, putting more energy into Anhui. In May, Haryogan, chief financial officer of Volkswagen Group (China) Volkswagen Anhui, said at the launching meeting of "investing in Anhui" that he would invest 23.1 billion yuan in Hefei, Anhui province. the total investment in fixed assets between the production base (phase I) and the R & D center is 14.1 billion yuan, and the total investment in pre-launch research is about 9.05 billion yuan, in an attempt to build another "wolf fort" in China.
How to stabilize the direction in the wave of new energy and really realize the "elephant turn" is a difficult problem left to every traditional automobile manufacturer.
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