Volkswagen is comprehensively repositioning itself. In November 2016 the Board of Management of the Volkswagen brand launched the TRANSFORM 2025+ program that will set the course for the brand over the next decade and beyond.
The new strategy focuses on clearer brand positioning across the various regions and segments, backed by significant improvements in efficiency and productivity. At the same time, the brand will be making massive investments in e-mobility and connectivity.
Enthusiastic customers, earnings power ensuring a secure future, sustainable mobility and a new team culture will lay the foundation for the Volkswagen brand's journey to the future.
In announcing TRANSFORM 2025+ the Chairman of the Volkswagen brand Board of Management, Dr Herbert Diess, said in Wolfsburg: "Our goals are high and our strategy is very ambitious. We want to benefit from change and to take Volkswagen into the lead in the new automobile industry with determination. Over the next few years, Volkswagen will change radically. Very few things will stay as they are. In the final resort, the new strategy is a major transformation program."
The reorientation of the Volkswagen brand is to take place in three phases. In phase 1, up to 2020, the brand will be entirely restructuring its core business and completing a transformation along the entire value stream. At the same time, the company will develop new competences.
In Phase 2, up to 2025, Volkswagen intends to take the lead in e-mobility on the basis of its regained strength as a leading, profitable volume manufacturer. The strategy in this phase aims to create a broader earnings base, for example through new mobility services.
Volkswagen also intends to play a key role in shaping the major transformation in the industry expected after 2025. In Phase 3, the objective is to achieve a leading role in the new world of mobility by 2030.
In future, e-mobility will be part of the Volkswagen brand core. "From 2020, we will be launching our major e-mobility offensive," continued Diess. "As a volume manufacturer, we intend to play a key role in the breakthrough of the electric car. We are not aiming for niche products but for the heart of the automobile market. "
By 2025, Volkswagen wants to sell a million electric cars per year and to be the world market leader in e-mobility. In the future electric cars will be the trademark of Volkswagen.
The brand will develop its own digital platform. By adopting this approach, Volkswagen will be moving closer to its customers on the one hand and developing new earnings potential with a comprehensive range of services on the other hand.
By 2025, Volkswagen expects to have about 80 million active users throughout the world. This would mean that the brand would have the leading digital ecosystem in the entire automotive industry.
Volkswagen’s electric history
It’s much broader than you may think. Volkswagen embarked on in-depth research into alternative drive technologies in the early 1970s.
The first results of this research was the Type 2 electric van developed in 1972 – a second-series camper van converted to electric drive. And not long after, developmental versions of the Golf were zipping around the country emission-free, boosted by the price shock experienced by drivers at German petrol stations as a result of the oil crisis. Initially just a test vehicle, there were small production runs of the Golf CitySTROMer that gave Volkswagen valuable insights into the development of electric drive.
That’s right – the first all-electric Golf was up and running in 1976. Since that Elektro-Golf there have been electric versions of the Golf from Mks I to III. These were called CitySTROMers, with ‘strom’ meaning electricity in German. Some members of the public are still running the cars.
In 2013 the all-electric e-Golf was launched to the mass market, and was comprehensively updated in 2017.
Full information on Volkswagen’s electric past – and future – is available in the PDF file linked to on the right.