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Volkswagen will build cars faster with fewer people - AutoReview.nl

It was a shocking and also a rare honest message from Thomas Schäfer, CEO of Volkswagen. If the brand continues as it is now, it will not survive. Now he has announced an action plan to save Volkswagen.

Electrification in particular has caused problems at Volkswagen. Hardly a week went by in 2023 without a report of disappointing sales, a production stop or layoffs. And the problems are still not over; Volkswagen is selling 30 percent fewer EVs than hoped. And in China there is interest in the new one Volkswagen ID.7 still against. Thomas Schäfer has now shared a rigorous plan to turn the tide. These three measures are the most striking.

1. Development of a new model must be almost 30 percent faster

This objective is ambitious. Earlier in 2023, Thomas Schäfer emphasized the difference between European and Chinese work ethics. Chinese car brands have a brand new model on the market within 24 months, while Volkswagen took more than twice as long. “European employees go home at 5 p.m., while Chinese employees start the next shift,” Schäfer said.

The Volkswagen boss wants to reduce the development times of new Volkswagen models from 50 to 36 months, so that cars can be brought to market faster. He emphasizes that it should not be at the expense of quality or safety. Schäfer expects to save 1 billion euros by 2028 by shortening the development time.

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2. Older employees have to leave

No reorganization is complete without taking a close look at the number of employees. There are significant cuts in administrative functions in particular, which means that layoffs are inevitable. Older employees can take partial retirement with a scheme. Although older is a relative concept, it would already be about employees born in 1967.

The positions that will be eliminated will not be filled again, Volkswagen will only post a vacancy in exceptional cases. A vacancy freeze has been in effect at almost all levels of the German brand since November. With this, Volkswagen wants to structurally reduce personnel costs by 20 percent.


3. All this on a body model

You often read it when new cars are introduced: before they come onto the market, they are tested under various conditions, from a scorching desert to temperatures well below freezing. Volkswagen continues to do this, but the number of test models built for this purpose will be reduced by 50 percent. Some of the tests can also be performed digitally. Schäfer calculates that this will save Volkswagen 400 million euros per year.

4. Higher profit margins

Anyone with any economic knowledge understands: the higher the profit margin, the better things go. The Volkswagen brand is now at 3 percent and wants to structurally reach 6.5 percent by 2026, partly thanks to the above measures.

Volkswagen expects the savings program to generate a profit of up to 4 billion euros by 2024.

This post was last modified on December 21, 2023 3:17 pm

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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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