The North American push is part of a sweeping overhaul to improve profitability at VW, one of the auto industry’s least efficient brands. Under the new strategy, the German carmaker’s biggest unit plans to more than triple its profit margin to 6 percent and increase sales of electric cars to 1 million vehicles per year by 2025. Efforts to boost the margin are critical as Volkswagen faces at least 18.2 billion euros of fines and repairs in the wake of the emissions crisis.
To help cover those damages and the cost of developing battery-powered and self-driving technologies, VW reached a landmark agreement with workers last week, to cut as many as 30,000 jobs worldwide and slash 3.7 billion euros of expenses. The electric-car transition will be funded in part by eliminating more than 2.5 billion euros of costs by scrapping underperforming conventional models, while the annual investment budget will remain stable at about 4.5 billion euros, the company said.