Volkswagen Vows to Overtake Tesla

Musk should be worried
Musk should be worried

BERLIN – Volkswagen has pulled into Tesla Inc.’s rearview mirror and vowed to overtake the electric-car pioneer with an extensive rollout of battery and hybrid models over the next five years, as well as new production facilities around the world.

The German car maker–which is the largest world-wide, with sales of 10.7 million vehicles last year–said Tuesday that it would build at least 16 electric-vehicle plants by 2025 in Europe, China and the U.S. The company expects nine of those plants to be in operation by 2020.

One of the plants would be set up at Volkswagen’s factory in Chattanooga, Tenn., with five planned for China and the remainder to be added to the three sites the company already operates in Europe.

Volkswagen aims to sell three million electric vehicles a year by 2025.

By comparison, Tesla sold 102,807 cars last year, mainly its high-end Model S family sedan and Model X sport-utility vehicle. Production of the Model 3 began last year, but Tesla has struggled to meet production goals. It has taken about 500,000 orders for the Model 3 but is well below its target of building 250,000 cars a year.

On Tuesday, Volkswagen Chief Executive Matthias Muller said his company, which owns a dozen brands including VW, Audi , Porsche, Skoda, Bentley and Lamborghini, would launch a new electric vehicle “virtually every month" starting in 2019.

“This is how we intend to offer the largest fleet of electric vehicles in the world, across all brands and regions, in just a few years," he said at Volkswagen’s annual media conference More at WSJ.com

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