A measure of just how badly Uncle cold-cocked VW over the diesel “cheating” thing is that the company hopes to maybe earn a profit again . . . about three years from now.
Volkswagen Group is “targeting fixed productivity gains” at its troubled core VW brand through 2020 by pushing cost savings, stemming overseas losses and launching more higher-margin cars as the carmaker battles to overcome its emissions scandal.
Positive development at Volkswagen’s namesake VW brand may continue throughout 2017, the automaker said on Friday, building on a strong rebound in the first quarter when cost cuts helped operating profit to surge to 869 million euros ($953 million) from 73 million a year earlier even as auto sales slipped.
“The substantial restructuring programs are bearing early fruits,” VW brand CEO Herbert Diess said at a press conference. “What’s now crucially important is for us to continue along this path and work through our tasks ahead.”
VW said it aims to raise productivity at its passenger-cars business by 7.5 percent in each of this year and next, and a further 5 percent in 2019 and 2020.
“We will critically review these financial targets and increase the guidance if necessary, as soon as we believe that what has been achieved is lastingly secure,” VW brand finance chief Arno Antlitz said.
The carmaker has pledged to further stem losses in North America, South America and Russia by rolling out more SUVs and pushing cost savings with a goal to reach break-even in these regions by 2020, Diess said.