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Volkswagen launches efficiency program, accelerates electric push

Volkswagen will lay "important groundwork to sustainably strengthen its competitiveness" in 2019, the core brand of the Volkswagen Group announced on Wednesday.
"The current year will be a key year for the transformation of the brand," according to VW, which expects its new savings program to increase profits by 5.9 billion euros (6.6 billion U.S. dollars) from 2023.
At the same time, VW plans to increase investment in "future issues" to 19 billion euros by 2023, 8 billion euros more than originally planned. In particular, VW will invest 4.6 billion euros in IT systems to digitize administrative processes, according to the German carmaker.
"We will once again significantly increase the pace of our transformation to make Volkswagen fit for the electric and digital age," said Volkswagen brand's Chief Operating Officer Ralf Brandstaetter.
In order to finance the investments, VW is seeking to "reduce complexity" and optimize its material costs as well as increase administrative efficiency in its savings program.
In this context, VW has announced that automating routine tasks would mean cutting some 5,000 to 7,000 jobs over the next four years. At the same time, VW expects to create 2,000 new jobs in the areas of software development and electronic architecture.
VW is optimistic about transforming the brand to have a stronger focus on electric mobility. Over the next ten years, the VW brand plans to produce more than 10 million electric cars out of the total 22 million electric vehicles that the Volkswagen Group announced it would produce.
Back in 2016, VW had launched the last major savings program that will run until the end of next year. The company expected the program to improve earnings by 3.7 billion euros from 2020 and significantly increase the productivity of its plants.
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