Volkswagen had painted a bulls-eye on Toyota and wanted to beat the Japanese by 2018. At least in terms of production numbers, Volkswagen will have Toyota beat this year. Instead, VW has to contend with GM.
The long-term new energy strategy of Volkswagen and Toyota on the other hand could have been devised in a joint planning session. Volkswagen believes that near-term, the plug-in-hybrid has a great future, whereas Volkswagen’s CEO Martin Winterkorn won’t live long enough to witness the boom of the pure electric car.
The German newspaper Handelsblatt has an interview today with Winterkorn. It echoes in large parts the interview which I had ten days ago with Toyota’s Chief Engineer Satoshi Ogiso. The two sound amazingly similar: Bullish on plug-in hybrids. Cautious on EVs. (Read More…)