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VW reboots brand for 'mobility age'

News, 20 June 2016

WOLFSBURG: Volkswagen, the troubled German automaker which suffered serious damage to its reputation following news last year that it rigged emissions test data, has announced a fundamental overhaul of its brand strategy.

In what the company described as "the biggest change process" in its history, Volkswagen said it plans to transform its core automotive business to prepare itself for "the new age of mobility".

That could see VW launching 30 all-electric vehicles over the next ten years as it seeks to tap into an environmentally friendly transport market that it estimates could account for around a quarter of global passenger car sales by 2025.

Specifically, VW is aiming to produce between two to three million all-electric vehicles in 2025, which would account for 20% to 25% of its annual sales by that time.

VW CEO Matthias Müller said the company's new strategy would require it to become more focused, efficient, innovative, customer-driven and sustainable, but importantly, that it also adopts a new corporate culture.

"This will require us – following the serious setback as a result of the diesel issue – to learn from mistakes made, rectify shortcomings and establish a corporate culture that is open, value-driven and rooted in integrity," he said.

Accompanying its ambition to become a leader in "green" transport, VW sees further growth coming from on-demand mobility services, such as robo-taxis, car-sharing and ride-hailing.

It aims to generate billions of euros from these new mobility technologies by both developing its own services and through acquisition.

The company also renewed its commitment to keep up its investment in the US, where "Dieselgate" was first exposed, as well as continuing to expand in Asia by partnering with regional players.

"The Volkswagen of the future will inspire its customers with fascinating vehicles, financial services tailored to demand, and smart mobility solutions," Müller promised.

"We will be a technology leader and role model when it comes to environment, safety and integrity … In short, Volkswagen will be an enterprise we can all be proud of."

Data sourced from Volkswagen; additional content by Warc staff