A common theme among automakers today is the challenge of investing the appropriate sums in battery-electric vehicles, while maintaining the right level of investment and production in internal-combustion-engine vehicle improvement and production.
That issue is being felt acutely in the halls of Volkswagen Group in Wolfsburg, Germany, where the Volkswagen brand’s global COO, Thomas Schaefer, told managers that the “roof is on fire” at the German automaker and managers have been advised to cut spending wherever they can.
In Episode #6 of the WardsAuto Podcast, host David Kiley talks to WardsAuto Germany correspondent Greg Kable about VW’s issues, which include: a drop in production and sales volume due to supply-chain disruptions; uncompetitive labor costs; massive investments in EV technology and production; and slipping sales and market share in China.
Kable also gives us insights on why Audi is outsourcing its China EV platform to Shanghai Automotive.
Kiley also talks with Volkswagen of America Director of Product Planning Serban Boldea while at the media drive for the ’24 Atlas SUV. The Atlas, built in Chattanooga, TN, is VW’s top-selling SUV in the North American region , and the new model has been upgraded across the board including a new engine, interior and numerous improvements. Boldea talks with Kiley about this issue of transitioning from ICE to BEV, as well as the improvements to the new Atlas.