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VW’s ‘New Auto’ strategy lays path to lead electrified industry

For the U.S., Diess said the ID4 electric compact crossover is nearly sold out for this year, and he predicted the retro-styled Microbus concept, set to debut in the U.S. in 2023 and now called the ID Buzz, would prove popular with consumers.

“In an electrified world, we need emotional products” such as the evocatively styled ID Buzz, Diess said. “It really adds something for the brand that so many of our competitors don’t have.”

Diess said the brand is currently “reworking” exactly which EVs it will offer in the U.S. beyond the ID4 and ID Buzz, but he said that with contributions from Audi, Porsche, Bentley and Lamborghini, sales would lift the group’s U.S. market share.

During the presentation, executives revealed that VW planned to renew its modular ICE-powered platform, called MQB, for another life cycle as it projects sales of fossil fuel-powered vehicles to decline as much as 20 percent worldwide by 2030.

Diess also confirmed that the company planned to introduce a Level 4 autonomous-driving-capable vehicle by 2026 in Europe with the Artemis project, which would be available later in the U.S.

Asked about how it plans to overtake Tesla in areas where the U.S. company has a wide lead, Diess said VW’s global scale and its brands give it the opportunity.

“We are already deeply industrialized. I think it’s an advantage to have different brands … we can address a much wider range of customers,” Diess said. “Scale-wise, we should have advantages over Tesla for sure. This industry is also really consolidating toward very comparable solutions. The [electric motors] are becoming similar, the concepts are becoming similar. Now we are in second position, but now until 2025, we should have a good chance to overtake.”

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