Volkswagen to cut jobs as shift to electric cars accelerates


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 was also targeting the production of 22 million electric vehicles over the next 10 years, after initially planning 15 million.

The company admitted its ambitions would come at a price.

“The reality is that building an electric car involves some 30% less effort than one powered by an internal combustion engine,” said chief executive Herbert Diess.

“That means we need to make job cuts,” he added.

No figure was specified but VW 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 $30bn (£23bn)

Most of that loss came in the US where it admitted fitting software designed to cheat emissions tests.

The fallout prompted a crackdown in Europe while China – the world’s largest new car market – has demanded more low-emissions vehicles.

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.

Brexit uncertainty was an additional factor pressuring UK sales.

:: Uncertainty on industrial scale facing UK carmakers

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.

Overall group profits rose 0.4% to €17.1bn (£14.6bn) on sales growth of almost 3%.

Net profits were 6% higher at €12.2bn (£10.5bn).

VW maintained its outlook with an operating return on group sales of between 6.5% and 7.5% in 2019.

(c) Sky News 2019: Volkswagen to cut jobs as shift to electric cars accelerates

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