The Volkswagen Group will reportedly axe around 40 models to cut costs and make way for an electric vehicle onslaught.
Sources within Volkswagen told German newspaper Handelsblatt that the automaker will cut a total of around 40 models from its mainstream Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Seat and Skoda marques. When the bloodletting is done, these five brands will have a combined lineup of under 300 vehicles.
A spokesperson told Automotive News, “A decision on how many models will be phased out or ceased has not been taken yet”.
Late last week, Volkswagen announced a new strategy that will see the car maker release 30 electrified cars by 2025, as well as invest heavily in self-driving vehicles and ride-sharing services.
An earlier report indicated that the company’s board was considering offloading some “non-core” parts of the empire, including MAN trucks and motorcycle maker Ducati.
Cash raised from these sales would go towards funding the company’s pivot from diesel cars to EVs and plug-in hybrids. This money will also help pay for on-going costs related to the ‘Dieselgate‘ scandal.
When the company publicly confessed to installing emissions testing defeat devices on around 11 million EA189-engined diesel cars in September 2015, it set aside 16.2 billion euros ($24.7 billion) to pay for remediation work, buy backs, litigation costs and fines.