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More iconic VW models set to go electric

Volkswagen says it will build a range of reborn icons for the EV era

6 Sep 2023


VOLKSWAGEN Group is set to launch a fully electric vehicle range based on some of its brand’s most iconic models.


VW Group CEO Oliver Blume stated at IAA Mobility 2023 in Munich that the company – and the brands it oversees – will offer a range of electric models based on some of the most ‘iconic’ vehicles of the ICE era.


The company’s presentations in Munich centred around a design-led revolution for the respective brands, with the unveiling of the ID. GTI concept offering more than just a hat-tip to the original Golf GTI – it is more of a full-body nod.


Mr Blume indicated that there’s more to come, too.


“Our design strategy is to develop even further our established cars, then setting on some technology lighthouses, and the third pillar is to develop further an ‘iconic’ strategy,” he said.


“We haven't decided the full map on which iconic products we are focusing on, but the Volkswagen Group has a lot of them, and we are focusing on the right ones. And we are always having in mind exciting our customers.


“We have a lot of opportunities to differentiate in electric platforms. You can already see on the products we have in the market; the Cupras and Volkswagens are different in many, many, many aspects. The Porsche Taycan and the Audi GT e-tron are different.


“So, we have a lot of opportunities. Design is one of the most important arguments for the customers, but also for us.”


Mr Blume also referred to the impending North American market launch of the new Scout electric SUV and pick-up truck brand as yet another realisation of the ‘icon’ strategy.


“First of all, for us, it’s a big opportunity. Before, we talked a lot about icons, and Scout is an icon in North America,” he said.


“It's one of the most successful pick-up brands in the past, and therefore, we have stunning ideas, how to design the cars, also in terms of technology, and we haven't done the final worldwide market planning.


“First of all we are focusing on North America and then thinking step by step and we will see what the future brings.”


When asked if Australia could form a part of a global rollout for Scout – given the increasing prevalence of US-made pick-up trucks and the upcoming launch of the Toyota Tundra, Ford F-150 and others – Mr Blume did not completely close the door on the idea.


“Honestly, we haven't decided yet. Currently, we are focusing on the technology profile of the product, on design, and then when we are further advanced with the engineering process, then we will think about what worldwide footprint we will offer with Scout,” he said.


On the topic of global market expansion, another brand is looking to make it big in the North American market, with Cupra lining up to join VW, Audi, and Porsche in that space.


“Cupra’s successful launch in Australia was the first step towards electrification in global markets, and now we’re looking at the next step,” said Cupra CEO, Wayne Griffiths.


“Because if we want to be considered as a truly global brand, we have to think big. Which is why we are working on our entry strategy into the North American market.


“Believe me, we don’t underestimate how big a step this is. But at Cupra we love a challenge. Our plans in this area are moving in a positive direction, the testing of the brand with potential customers in states like California, where the results have been really encouraging.


“And at the same time (we are) preparing a specific portfolio of BEV cars and our distribution strategy for the market.”

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