Volkswagen has announced that they are planning to accelerate its already established restructuring plan in order to improve earnings, and finance future technologies. In doing so, the German marque says they will be "streamlining their model portfolio" and "reducing the number of variants". Moreover, they also mentioned that "there is to be a massive reduction in the complexity of the model portfolio". That said, it likely spells the end for some of the current Volkswagen models we know today.
As for which specific models will likely be dropped, it is still uncertain as Volkswagen has yet to mention any specifics. In the press release, they did say that they will be "discontinuing 25 percent of the engine-transmission variants with low customer demand in the coming model year" in Europe. This likely means that there will be less powertrain options, possibly leading to fewer models in the future.
"We must force the pace of our transformation and become more efficient and agile. We cannot let up in our efforts and must realize further substantial improvements. What we have achieved so far is still not enough,” said Ralf Brandstätter, VW's Chief Operating Officer.
The reason for Volkswagen's move to streamline their line up is to further boost their EV line up. Currently, VW only has two fully-electric cars in it's line up. However, the German automaker hopes to increase that number to around 20 by the year 2025.
In order to reach their goal, Volkswagen would need a large technological investment, hence the plan to streamline their model lineup To be specific, VW will be investing €11 billion in e-mobility, digitalization, autonomous driving and mobility services from 2019 to 2023, of which over €9 billion will be spent on Volkswagen’s electrification offensive.