Volkswagen to cut 7,000 jobs in shift to electric cars
Volkswagen has warned jobs will be cut as it ramps up plans to make only zero-emission models following the ‘dieselgate’ scandal.
The German carmaker, which also counts Audi, Porsche and Bentley among its 12 brands, said it was now aiming for 70 all-electric models across the group by 2028.
It is also targeting the production of 22 million electric vehicles over the next 10 years, after initially planning 15 million.
However the company has admitted its ambitions would cause jobs to be cut.
“The reality is that building an electric car involves some 30 per cent less effort than one powered by an internal combustion engine,” said chief executive Herbert Diess.
“That means we need to make job cuts.”
VW currently employs more than 600,000 people globally.
The company signalled a major shift to electric – with the first new model expected next year – after the emissions scandal of 2015 that is believed to have cost the group more than $30 billion (£23bn).
Most of that loss came in the US where it admitted fitting software designed to cheat emissions tests.
European carmakers had a tougher 2018 as they faced bottlenecks certifying vehicles under new emissions tests imposed while demand was also subdued – particularly for diesel cars, and Brexit uncertainty was an additional factor pressuring UK sales.
VW reported a slight dip in operating profit for 2018 at its eponymous brand, while Bentley recorded a loss of €288m (£247m), from a small profit the previous year, as delays hit production of the new Continental GT.