VW CEO Mueller's will provide more details on group strategy by mid-yearÂ (Photo: VW)
Volkswagen Group will seek partnerships, while focusing on electric vehicles and other new business areas.
"The era in which our secrtor kept itself apart from everything is now over, once and for all," VW Group CEO Matthias Mueller said at the carmaker's annual results press conference. "Reservations, solo efforts, or even the illusion of knowing and doing everything better will not help us reach our goals," he added.
Those goals are two-fold. First and foremost, Europe's largest car maker needs to deal with the fallout fromÂ theÂ emissions-test cheating it admitted to last year. This could cost VW 10s of billions of euros in coming years. In 2015 already it took an exceptional 16.2 billion euro charge to deal with some of these costs.
Providing solutions for owners of diesel-powered models affected by the deceit "will remain our most important task until the very last vehicle has been put in order," Mueller said.
Volkswagen's major operational goal for the coming years is to prepare itself for an automotive landscape whereÂ a range of new technologies and business models are shakingÂ the foundations of today's industry.
VW intends to use partnerships and make equity investments in digitization and mobility services. In the latter area, it will soonÂ establish a separate company that will develop mobility services across the group's 12 brands.
But VW's most ambitious push will be in electric vehicles, where it will start selling cars built with its new Modular Electrification Toolkit (MEB) by the end of the year. Overall, the VW Group plans to launch more than 20 electric vehicles by 2020.
"We plan to make electric cars one of Volkswagen's new hallmarks," Mueller told reporters.
By the middle of the year, VW wants to present more details of its new business plan, which is called "Strategy 2025." Next to electrification and new mobility services, the strategy will explain how the company will approach digitalization and networking in a systematic and focused manner.
"We aim to play a key role designing the mobility world of tomorrow," Mueller said. And in a comment on the magnitude of the changes in the car industry, he added: "We are in a good starting position for this epochal transformation."