Volkswagen Claims It Has Distinct Advantages Over Apple In Autonomous Electric Car Race

2 years ago by Steven Loveday 57

Volkswagen BUDD-E Concept

Volkswagen BUDD-e Concept

Volkswagen Sales and Marketing boss, Jürgen Stackmann, claimed that the company is ready and willing to lead the electric car race. He made it clear that Volkswagen will not fear the likes of Apple or Google. He said:

Volkswagen BUDD-e Concept Interior

Volkswagen BUDD-e Concept Interior

“Newcomers will see opportunities in the current climate, and we are not afraid to face the challenge from them . . . the dots are connected, and the car maker that gets there first wins. But the challenge for the start-ups is meeting the quality levels that the car industry is so well practiced in, from 10-year durability standards to building car after car to the same levels.”

VW announced plans to be a major player leading the electric car race by 2025. Specifically, the company intends to launch a family car that can charge fully in fifteen minutes and travel 300 miles.

Stackmann believes that this is all possible for Volkswagen due to the company’s size and scale. He boasted about the fact that VW has 40,000 engineers, more substantial access to resources, and can make innovations at more competitive pricing.

Stackmann explained:

“What’s clear is that today we have expertise in hugely complex areas, like developing engines and gearboxes, that start-up companies will not have to worry about, because electrical powertrains require a different kind of complexity. There could be a race between the hardware and software makers to find out who emerges on top in the car industry.”

He is confident that a fully electric, internet ready, autonomous vehicle with a “widespread inductive charging network” will be launched by the end of the decade. Stackmann is optimistic that Volkswagen will be the company to make this happen.

Source: Autocar

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57 responses to "Volkswagen Claims It Has Distinct Advantages Over Apple In Autonomous Electric Car Race"

  1. LonestarV says:

    All the big car makers that see themselves slipping behind are making a whole lot of noise right now, trying to distract from the actual products Tesla is producing.

    1. jerryd says:

      The 2025 date says it all. And remember 300 European miles is only 300 US miles rating.
      Also VW has little credibility now.

  2. Eric says:

    VW may well boast about having 40,000 engineers. Trouble is, a lot of those are experts in fossil fuel engine technology that will soon be obsolete. They can’t engineer batteries, electric motors, software or high power electronics.

    What I’d like to know: how many engineers does VW have that can design and engineer a compelling car to compete with the likes of, oh, I don’t know… Tesla?

    1. KUD says:

      Give VW credit for their software engineers, after all governments never found the diesel cheat. It took a WV University professor to find it. The will just program a cheat that has the speedometer running faster then miles traveled ;(

      1. TomArt says:

        This is hardly praiseworthy – the gov’ts didn’t find the cheat because they weren’t looking for it. All they do is shove a probe up the tailpipe and hit the gas.

      2. Speculawyer says:

        LOL! Yes, they have some clever software engineers that really pulled a multi-billion dollar hack! Unfortunately for VW, the multi-billion dollars just switched directions from revenue to pay-outs.

      3. xChuke says:

        +1. Sure, they can do it just with their software engineers. LOL

      4. jerryd says:

        Bosch did the software, not VW. They just used it illegally.

    2. tftf says:

      They have an “E-Campus” (new building) since 2014 in Germany to collect expertise in these areas:

      June
      19, 2014
      A new competence center
      bundling the Group’s electrical
      and electronic development
      activities in the key areas of
      electro­mobility and vehicle
      connectivity opens on the
      E­Campus. The futuristic eight­
      story building symbolizes the
      quest to develop deeper ex­
      pertise in digital networking,
      infotainment and driver­
      assistance systems of the future.

      You can expect them to double down on this after the Diesel scandal.

      Overall about 2k employees work in these areas.

      1. TomArt says:

        Impressive, if they follow through.

      2. pjwood1 says:

        And the other 38,000…? Lately, It’s starting to sound like VW is a closely held jobs program.

      3. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        It all sounds good, but they may have little money left for R&D after paying too many billions in fines and settlements. At some time soon we will have economic down cycle, if they will still need to continue paying at that time, all these great future projects will need to be downsized.

    3. John in AA says:

      Yeah, maybe they should be referred to as 40,000 stranded assets. Indeed, the second Stackmann quote lays it right out but fails to connect the final dot to acknowledge that those 40,000 are a huge liability.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Indeed. This sort of myopic corporate groupthink is precisely why so many market leaders fail during a disruptive tech revolution.

        I would not place any bets on VW still being a major auto maker in 20 years. Perhaps not even in 15.

      2. Stimpy says:

        I also found that disconnect rather odd, though not at all surprising.

    4. Ray says:

      What I would like to know is how many of those 40,000 are “rogue”?

    5. evcarnut says:

      Rite on ! Pretty Cocky for a bunch of Cheaters that got Caught!…..Besides I find VW Build quality to be pretty Shoddy…

    6. heisenberghtbacktotheroots says:

      I really don’t get it… Why would it not be possible for any engineer to develop something unrelated to his former work? All we do is to use physics, so there is effectively no difference in developing ICE or electric drivetrains for a well prepared and flexible enough engineer.

      A good engineer can develop everything!

      If 40000 engineers can develop something is a different question. To my best knowledge things start to get messy when more than 2 people work on the same thing… Whats the part count of an electric drivetrain again?

      All that talk about one company having more engineers than the other is plain stupid.

      Think Tesla (the person…) 😉

  3. Ash09 says:

    Translation: “We’re going to be late to the EV party, so no one else better show us up!”

    Show us some drivable prototypes first before you say you’re going to make an awesome EV that everyone will want. Especially after diesel-gate.

    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      They showed plenty of prototypes. EF fanboys complained all the time that they are kings of prototypes but not mass production.

  4. Four Electrics says:

    “But the challenge for the start-ups is meeting the quality levels that the car industry is so well practiced in, from 10-year durability standards to building car after car to the same levels.”

    Amen.

    1. Four Electrics says:

      Actually, I should qualify this: amen for personal cars. When self driving cars become a service, I won’t own one, so I’ll only care about safety. Planned obsolescence is a valid model for autonomous car sharing. However, I would think we’re about a decade away from that point.

      1. TomArt says:

        Interesting point – ownership will probably be different before too long, at least in places other than the US.

    2. TomArt says:

      For being well-practiced, I would expect more than what the industry provides. And, if the established automakers were so good, then they shouldn’t need to make decisions like: it’s cheaper to pay the wrongful death lawsuits than to improve quality and design.

      1. mxs says:

        You have ever heard of stockholders, boards etc.?

    3. Seth says:

      So, you mean to say that the oil use in the TSI engines is “standard”? I normally filled oil once every other year, not every 5000 miles.

      The 3 cylinder engines from the original Lupo went somewhere between 50-80k km before they gasket went out.

      The EGR valve on most of the 1.2TDI engines goes before the 100k km mark. That’s not what I call a normal service itme.

  5. Clive says:

    Wow, these people need to STFU.

    Why not prove it first.

  6. ffbj says:

    VW in Laecherlich (Ludicrous) mode.

  7. Someone out there says:

    Yeah, I could make a market leading EV by 2025 too.. I just don’t want to.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      ROTFL!

      Dude, I think you won the Internet today.

  8. mxs says:

    My money is ready. Just make the Golf glide fully BEV platform and I will get one.

  9. It is encouraging, at least, that there is a path ahead for Volkswagen.

    1. evcarnut says:

      Yea! VW Is on the HIGHWAY TO HELL ! lmao…

  10. Anon says:

    VW’s not well respected for their electrical prowess, even in their ICE vehicles…

    1. mxs says:

      LOL …. VW expert has spoken.

      Well, it’s true that things like radio or blower might stop working, but guess what, it has never failed to start, nor has it required a drive train replacement of sorts in the 7 years of it’s life.

      What do you think of that?

      1. Tech01x says:

        Seriously?

        http://www.autoblog.com/volkswagen/recalls/

        Hundreds of thousands of vehicles recalled due to fire risk, broken camshaft lobes, transmission o-ring seals, dual clutch gearbox corrosion, and fuel line problems that could lead to fire.

        These are all issues that are far more serious than what Tesla did with the drive unit replacements. The vast majority of drive unit replacements were done for noise, not failure. And the repair procedure for things related to the drive unit is the replace it and work on the drive unit off-line.

        1. evcarnut says:

          VW is Know For FIREFEGNEUGEN…..

      2. Anon says:

        I currently own a VW. I’ve owned more than one of their vehicles, in fact. So, I speak from personal experience regarding this subject– which spans multiple decades.

        What do you think of that?

  11. Ob1 says:

    Apple, Google who’s next Amazon?

    1. Josh says:

      My thoughts exactly.

      He forgot to mention real competition with Tesla, Nissan/Renault, BMW and GM (In the US).

  12. pjwood1 says:

    “expertise in hugely complex areas, like developing engines and gearboxes”

    It’s going to take a lot to reverse the “add something mechanical” mentality. Stackmann is a sales guy. With more polish, I bet he’d realize hugely simple is the threat. Borg Warner’s stock took a ~10% hit, the day after the single gear-ratio Model 3 was announced.

    1. Ray says:

      The quote says it all. Maybe he doesn’t realize how much more simple the electric motor is to the inner workings of an engine.

    2. John in AA says:

      Yeah, it’s such a bizarre quote. You’d have expected it to be spoken by someone who’s shorting VOW3.

  13. LOL says:

    VW know not what they’re talking about. All what it takes for Apple is to collaborate with Tesla, and soon thereafter we could say goodbye to established carmakers. What time would it take for Tesla & Apple to jointly release “even more affordable” EV ??

    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      These are not exactly the companies that ever released anything “affordable” in their existence 😉

      1. Get Real says:

        Really, is that why 1/2 the cell phones in the US are Apple?

        Better go back to zzzzzzzzzz!

        1. Anon says:

          But those consumers that streteched to buy an iPhone (just to show off / conform / whatever), also tend to steal the most accessories at places like Walmart.

          Truth.

        2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          iPhone has 38% share in the US certainly not because it is affordable, but because it is like fashion item, and quite a good product for their customers. And the US is just small fraction of the world population. Billions live elsewhere and most use cheaper phones.

  14. MDEV says:

    VW should send their press reports to Popular Mechanics, all they can talk is how future cars will be better than Tesla, better Batteries that the ones already in the market, better self driving car than google with nothing to show. On top they were cough cheating with diesel because their engineering couldn’t solve the contamination problem. Very sad but I think German auto industry is heading to the cliff.

  15. TBuzz says:

    Then VW, don’t blow hot air. Do something instead of talking about what you can do. Obviously VS’s ability leaves a lot to be desired. In the absence of products, automakers blow hot air and talk about what they can do in the future. 40,000 engineers is a lot of engineers – what are they really doing ? It is not necessary to cheat on Software to sell a product – as a retired engineer it is not too long ago that I cannot remember what was expected of engineers – not telling the truth was in there somewhere. Do it VW and I will buy one. I am in the Market now.

  16. Speculawyer says:

    So a car company feels the need to claim that they have advantages over a company that has never made a car (or anything even close to a car) before?

    Damn, VW must be worried. Well, in view of Tesla’s success, they should be.

  17. Mr. M says:

    I dont think apple is considered a startup anymore

  18. CDAVIS says:

    VW said: “Newcomers will see opportunities in the current climate, and we are not afraid to face the challenge from them…”
    ——–

    1st Rule of Fear:
    He who declares no fear has fear.

    2nd Rule of Fear:
    He who declares fear has fear.

    3rd Rule of Fear:
    He who speaks not of fear is to be feared.

  19. Chris says:

    …The History Channel beckons…

  20. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “Volkswagen Claims It Has Distinct AdvantagesOver Apple…”

    And of course, we have no reason to doubt anything Volkswagon claims.

    Oh, wait…

    Somehow I doubt Apple is worried.

    “VW announced plans to be a major player leading the electric car race by 2025.”

    Translation: “We hope that in nine years, we can catch up to where Tesla is today.”

    “What’s clear is that today we have expertise in hugely complex areas, like developing engines and gearboxes…”

    Apparently all that “expertise” wasn’t enough for you to engineer a diesel engine that both ran well and had low pollution emissions, so instead you used your software “expertise” to cheat the emissions tests.

    “He is confident that a fully electric, internet ready, autonomous vehicle with a ‘widespread inductive charging network’ will be launched by the end of the decade.”

    Just who is gonna build this “widespread inductive charging network”? It ain’t gonna be Volkswagen!

    1. Robert says:

      Damn funny!

  21. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    mxs said:

    “…it has never failed to start, nor has it required a drive train replacement of sorts in the 7 years of it’s life.

    “What do you think of that?”

    I presume you’re talking only about your personal car? Hopefully you’re not so clueless as to claim that any major auto maker has never made a car which required a drive train replacement, and never failed to start, in 7 years of everyday use.

    What I think is that a sample size of 1 is usually, as in this case, not meaningful.