Volkswagen is not afraid to take on Google or Apple in the race to be electro-mobility leaders, should either of the technology giants decide to launch car making arms, according to the firm’s sales and marketing boss Jürgen Stackmann.
Following VW's announcement that it wants to take electro-mobility leadership by 2025, including launching a 300-mile-range, 15-minute-charge family car that will cost less than the equivalent conventionally engined car by the end of the decade, Stackmann said: “Newcomers will see opportunities in the current climate, and we are not afraid to face the challenge from them.
“What’s clear is that today we have expertise in hugely complex areas, like developing engines and gearboxes, that start-up companies will not have to worry about, because electrical powertrains require a different kind of complexity. There could be a race between the hardware and software makers to find out who emerges on top in the car industry.”
Stackmann said he believes an industry-changing car will be launched within a decade, combining a full electric powertrain with a widespread inductive charging network, a fully internet-enabled cabin and autonomous driving features.
“At that point, the dots are connected, and the car maker that gets there first wins,” he said. “But the challenge for the start-ups is meeting the quality levels that the car industry is so well practised in, from 10-year durability standards to building car after car to the same levels.”
Stackmann added that he thought VW’s advantage over its opposition lay in the Volkswagen Group’s scale. “The strategy to leverage our size gives us huge benefits in development resources and in driving the change at a competitive price. We have 40,000 engineers to deploy on technical matters - that’s an advantage.”