Volkswagen (VW) says it will undergo “profound changes” as the company accelerates its transformation into a software-driven mobility provider. The announcement came as the company released its ACCELERATE strategy, revealing how it will systematically prepare for the future.
“E-mobility was just the beginning – the real disruption has yet to come,” said Ralf Brandstaetter, CEO of the Volkswagen brand. “With our strategy we will ACCELERATE towards the digital future. In the coming years, we will change Volkswagen as never before.”
Having embarked on an electric vehicle programme, VW said it will tackle the “other big issues” – the integration of software into vehicles and digitalising the customer experience – which will become crucial core competencies. In implementing data-based business models, the company is seeking to attract new groups of customers and tap into additional sources of income.
The brand aims to transform into “the most attractive brand for sustainable mobility,” with VW pursuing three strategic “value drivers” for the accelerated transformation: brand value, scalable platforms, and valuable enterprise, each underpinned by specific measures and ambitious goals.
The company says its high volumes will ensure the necessary scaling of software in the group. To this end, VW is developing a “customer-centric digital ecosystem” which will provide “over-the-air” updates every 12 weeks starting in this year’s northern summer. VW says this will enable vehicles to remain up-to-date throughout their life cycle, improving them as new functions are added.
The company expects a networked fleet of more than 500,000 vehicles to be on the road in two years’ time, with VW able to transmit direct customer feedback to new functions.
VW also aims to generate additional revenue through charging and energy services, software-based functions that customers can access as needed, and automated driving.
According to the brand, the strategy will simplify its vehicle portfolio structure, with future vehicle generations having fewer model variants. VW said vehicles will have virtually everything onboard and customers can add the functionality they want on demand at any time using the vehicle’s digital ecosystem. This, it said, will significantly reduce production complexity.
As part of the strategy, VW is targeting more market share of the electric vehicle market.
“Volkswagen plans to rapidly accelerate the global e-campaign once again: by 2030, the brand will increase its market share to over 70 per cent of deliveries of all-electric cars in Europe – double the previous planning target of 35 per cent,” the company said in a statement. “In the United States and China, the brand is targeting an EV market share of over 50 per cent in the same period.” To achieve this, VW said it will release at least one new battery electric vehicle model every year.
In addition, the company said it will “continuously optimise” the Modular Electric Drive Toolkit (MEB), bringing improvements in acceleration, charging capacity and range. VW will also “play to its [platform] strengths” by developing its Scalable Systems Platform, which will be deployed in 2026 for the first time in VW’s flagship project, Trinity.
According to the company, Trinity will set new standards in three respects: technologically, in terms of the business model 2.0, and with new production approaches at the Wolfsburg plant. Trinity will enable “Level 2+ automated driving” from the outset and Level 4 in the future.
“Trinity will become a kind of time machine for our customers, saving them time and stress,” said Brandstaetter. “However, this technology must not become the preserve of a select elite, which is why we are scaling it to make it available for many people.”
By establishing a neural network across its fully networked vehicle fleet, the VW Group says it will continuously exchange data such as traffic conditions, obstacles and accidents, enabling it to create a “self-learning system with millions of vehicles”.
As part of the transformation, the VW combustion engine fleet will be developed in parallel to the acceleration of the electric vehicle campaign. All core models including the Golf, Tiguan, Passat, Tayron and T-Roc will have successors.
“We will still need combustion engines for a while but they should be as efficient as possible, which is why the next generation of our core products – all of which are world models – will also be fitted with the latest generation of plug-in hybrid technology, with an electric range of up to 100 kilometres,” said Brandstaetter.