Categories: News

Column: Volkswagen struggles, but emerges -

Volkswagen is having a hard time: the electric models are not nearly as popular as hoped and the quality problems of the ID models caused a serious blow to the once solid brand. But there is also hope in Wolfsburg.

There are times when we in the editorial office long for the past. The fine sound of a V8, a rumbling five-cylinder, or a torquey six-cylinder turbo diesel. Nostalgia for the time when it was more about technology than chips. Undoubtedly they sometimes have those feelings with traditional car brands too. Electrification costs them blood, sweat and tears.

To Volkswagen's credit, they are open about that struggle. After the diesel scandal in 2015, they rushed to work on electric models in Wolfsburg that the characteristic German reliability was temporarily lost sight of. The Volkswagen ID.3 should have been the Volkswagen Golf of electric cars, but was disappointing. The cheap materials were unworthy of Volkswagen and the software problems in particular gave the Germans' reputation a serious blow. The voice control in particular was a crime.

Selling less than hoped

The difficult entrance into the plug world can be explained. In recent years, Volkswagen had to bet on two horses: it developed new generations of 'golden old' models such as the Volkswagen Golf and the Tiguan and simultaneously worked on their electrical counterparts ID.3 and ID.4, complete with in-house developed software. The problems are still not over; production of the ID.7 was supposed to start in July, but was postponed until the autumn. In addition, Volkswagen is selling 30 percent fewer EVs than hoped, which led to forced layoffs.

Volkswagen is trying to turn the tide. Models with low production numbers have disappeared, such as the Arteon. The profit margin must increase from 3 percent (first quarter 2023) to 6.5 percent in the coming years. Skoda serves as an example; the Czechs are already above 6 percent. To save costs, CEO Thomas Schäfer wants to collaborate more within the Volkswagen Group.

Everything turns out well

Schäfer is determined to make Volkswagen the trusted, beloved brand again. Recognizable design and appealing models play a key role in this. This also includes familiar names. It is not without reason that CEO Thomas Schäfer recently emphasized that there will certainly be a new Golf. And our complaints (and those of the customers) about physical buttons have helped, because they are also returning on new models. Volkswagen seems to have realized just in time that it should not simply put its time-honored virtues and a beautiful history on the street, even in the plug era.

This post was last modified on September 24, 2023 5:06 am


Dreamer is what I am, but unlike many, I struggle to make my dreams come true. I own, seo, admin and site editor. I am a father, married, Christian, Northeastern/Brazil and Libran. I love cars <3

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