Volkswagen CEO Claims That the Shift to Electric Cars Won't Hurt Margins

Volkswagen Chief Executive Herbert Diess talked about the success of Volkswagen's electric models.
Chris Young

Volkswagen doesn't expect its new focus on electric cars — in order to avoid heavy EU regulatory sanctions — to hurt its profit margins, Chief Executive Herbert Diess in a newspaper report today.

Diess claimed the car manufacturer expects to sell nearly 20,000 Audi e-Tron in 2019, and also highlighted the fact that the electric Porsche Taycan was already sold out, in its first year of production.


Strong sales in electric

As Reuters reports, Diess said, “we do not expect a deterioration in margins," in an interview with daily la Repubblica’s Monday supplement A&F.

"Our advantage is that all our brands have the same platform for electric products and the same batteries that we buy in China,” Diess claimed.

In his reports, Diess also said that orders for the VW ID.3, the group’s recently revealed compact electric model, are already covering the production planned until mid-2020.

A drop in Chinese sales

Rather than the shift to electric, Diess claimed he is concerned about the trade war between the U.S. and China, which has caused a drop in Volkswagen's Chinese sales — though the company's market share in the country has grown over the past six months, to 19%.

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Despite this, Diess emphasizes that Volkswagen is not planning to reduce its efforts and cut exposure in the Chinese market.

At last month's Frankfurt auto show, Volkswagen marketed electric cars as their flagship models in order to convince customers to opt away from gasoline cars.

In a 2017 press conference, the company said it would invest $40 billion into electric vehicles.

Since then, it has stuck to its word by investing in the Audi e-Tron, Porsche Taycan, electric Beetle, and other electric vehicles. It has done so, in large part, to avoid billions of euros in European pollution fines.