VW expects 2023 to be more challenging than 2022

Volkswagen Group chief financial officer Arno Antlitz said he expects next year to be “even tougher” than 2022 as inflation and a weaker economic outlook reduce demand. .

Antlitz said Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg TV that VW cannot fully pass on rising raw material and energy costs to consumers, so it needs to boost productivity and cut fixed costs.

Antritz said he expects the industry to continue to grow, but will be in the single digits in 2023, saying he “expects a small growth in the industry”.

Automakers are battling a continuing severe chip shortage and rising input costs this year, but they hope supply bottlenecks will ease next year, boosting shipments despite weakening demand. I’m here.

Antlitz says VW still has a full order book to support sales through the first half of next year. As more cars are sold, automakers expect higher input prices to make it harder to pass on costs, he said.

Volkswagen is also under pressure to turn around its EV push, which has been plagued by internal feuds and software delays that have delayed the launches of major Audi and Porsche models.

CEO Oliver Blume is reassessing some of the strategies set out by his predecessor, Herbert Diess, who pushed the project at ambitious speed to catch up with Tesla.

One of the most pressing challenges is fixing a problem in the company’s software unit, Cariad. The issue has caused VW to delay its flagship electric vehicle project Trinity by at least two years.

Blume is expected to give the oversight board a status update on his plans on Thursday.

The speed with which VW’s Cariad division can develop various software platforms will determine which EVs can be built at which plants, people familiar with the matter said.

Antlitz says Cariad remains an integral part of VW’s strategy. He added that one of the toughest financial hurdles for automakers is the battery business, which involves large upfront investments.

Called PowerCo, the division will span six plants in Europe alone and could be the next area VW seeks external funding.

Like other automakers, including Tesla and Mercedes-Benz, VW is grappling with a deteriorating outlook in China, the world’s largest EV market.

Volkswagen cut its Shanghai sales target by about 14% last month, Mercedes cut prices and Tesla halted Model Y production in Shanghai.

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