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Report: VW to drop 40 models in restructure

The Volkswagen Group, still reeling from the fallout of last year’s revelation of its diesel emissions cheating, on Thursday released the first details on an overarching strategy aimed at moving past the scandal and transforming the company into a leader in sustainable mobility.
2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune
2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune

One of the biggest challenges in the new strategy, titled Together – Strategy 2025, is a goal of adding more than 30 electric cars across the VW Group brands within the next decade. But as the automaker starts adding new electric cars to its fleet it will also drop some existing gasoline and diesel models.

Germany’s Handelsblatt on Saturday reported that VW plans to drop 40 models over the coming years. That’s from a current fleet of around 340 models when you factor in all the various brands and bodystyles on offer. The report said the automaker’s core VW brand would lose the most models.

VW’s CEO Matthias Müller has previously hinted that some cuts were inevitable though hasn’t stated where those cuts would be made. When quizzed by Reuters, a spokesperson for the automaker said a decision on how many models would be dropped is yet to be made.

The automaker has already ceased production of the unpopular flagship sedan of its VW brand, the Phaeton, though an electric successor will return around the end of the decade. Another model thought to be on its way out is the Beetle, the current version of which has previously been reported to be bowing out at the end of 2018.