Porsche and Audi Vying With Volkswagen over Electric Vehicle Leadership

December 9, 2016

Audi e-Tron

Audi e-Tron

In-house fighting has ignited rivalry between the premium brands of Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi. Volkswagen is cutting costs following the scandal on diesel emissions cheating. Senior executives responded to Reuters concerning the internal conflict revolving around the manufacture and development of electric cars. The automaker is emerging from the hyped “Dieselgate” scandal. The international racing events analogy, which includes Le Mans 24, was used by Reuters. This analogy describes the rivalry within the automaker that will manufacture its plug-in car models. Volkswagen denied the rumor that the rivalry in question is beyond control in the boardroom.

The battle for resources is cut-throat. Every car manufacturer with the capacity to build engines is now interested in a leadership role. This leadership concerns battery packs, battery-cell and electric-motor expertise. This information was provided by one of the executives of a Volkswagen division that wanted their name to be kept anonymous. Cost cutting will also involve a dramatic reduction of jobs as the automaker faces lawsuits and penalties accrued from the Dieselgate scandal. This could affect all brands including Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, SEAT, and Skoda. The company and its union came to an agreement recently to reduce thirty thousand jobs at VW brand’s core. This will be in place of a commitment so as to avoid forced redundancies.

The ambitious goal by Volkswagen to launch up to thirty new electric car models by the year 2025 will also have impact on labor. Assembling of electric vehicles is less complex compared to conventional combustion engine cars. Additionally, fewer workers will be required to assemble. The issue will be thorny, particularly in an industry that is dominated by workers who have numerous collective wage agreements. Audi, Porsche and VW executives who did not want their names revealed, said the conflict in question was not a new phenomenon. They further added that healthy internal competition is great since it would trigger greater commercial and technical achievements. Based on a reliable source, leadership changes effected in the last year have thrown that off.

The corporate office of Volkswagen dismissed the above comments and denied there being any power struggle. It claimed that the reports were pure speculation with no foundation. Although Audi has in the past been making huge profits, it has been a loser in some internal battles that cropped up in recent years, especially following the development of car components for the Porsche brand. We just have to wait and see which automaker will eventually take the leadership role.


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