VW Hikes Tech Spending 29% to €44 Billion

Volkswagen AG says it intends to spend nearly €44 billion ($50.2 billion) by 2023 on electrification, autonomous driving, mobility services and the digitization of its vehicles and plants.

The new budget compares with €34 billion allocated a year ago for those areas. VW also believes it can boost productivity at its assembly plants 30% by 2025 by sharing the same production lines with multiple brands.

The company’s first wave of all-electric models will debut in 2019 with high-end models under the Audi and Porsche brands. VW’s mainstream “I.D.” line of EVs will present its first car in 2020.

CEO Herbert Diess says additional goals are to improve the profitability of each of its brands, accelerate the coverall pace of innovation and lower its ratios of spending on capital investments and research to a “competitive” 6% by 2020.

Diess also says partnerships will play a significant role in the company’s plans. He signals a pending agreement with Ford, noting that the two companies complement each other well in terms of markets and products.