VW looks to halt losses in Americas, Russia by 2020

Fri May 5, 2017 11:04am EDT
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By Andreas Cremer

WOLFSBURG, Germany (Reuters) - Volkswagen's (VOWG_p.DE: Quote) core brand has pledged to end losses in the United States, Latin America and Russia by the end of the decade, counting on cost cuts and higher-margin new models as it tries to move beyond its diesel emissions crisis.

Europe's largest automaker is pursuing efficiency measures to generate billions of euros for investment in electric cars, new mobility services and automated driving to try to reposition the business following the 2015 emissions cheating crisis.

VW expects a "significant contribution" at its core division to come by 2020 from the Americas and Russia, which account for almost a fifth of its global sales, brand chief executive Herbert Diess said on Friday.

Wolfsburg-based VW launched the seven-seat Atlas and long-wheelbase Tiguan crossovers this year to try to recover ground in the United States, where the diesel crisis began.

The Polo subcompact and Virtus saloon, based on the cost-cutting MQB modular platform, will be introduced in Latin America in the second half of the year.

"We have been growing (sales) again in the U.S., South America and also in Russia since the start of the year," brand finance chief Arno Antlitz told a news conference.

"We expect this positive development to continue over the course of the year."


FILE PHOTO: A man uses phone under a Volkswagen logo at the Shanghai Auto Show, in Shanghai, China April 20, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song