GERMANY: VW one litre car 'not a top seller'
Volkswagen Group CEO, Martin Winterkorn, has reaffirmed that VW will bring a one-litre car (consuming just one litre of fuel for every 100km [60 miles] driven) to the market by 2010 at the latest.
Speaking at an international steel congress in Berlin, he was reported by a local newspaper as saying that, "the car will not be a top seller." The body of the car will be made principally from plastic and magnesium, making it significantly more expensive than a basic car. The engine will have two cylinders and 300cc capacity. Top speed should be around 120km/h.
A one-litre car has been a dream of Volkswagen's chairman, Ferdinand Piech, since he was CEO of the group. The project was dropped by Bernd Pischetstrieder but has been revived again under Piech's influence.
Piech said earlier this year that the project would be helped by falling prices for lightweight body parts, in particular plastics. Piech said a plastics manufacturer had told him that parts that currently cost EUR35,000 to produce would cost just EUR5,000, meaning that they become economically viable. "That was not possible in my time," said Piech, formerly CEO of Volkswagen. "This is progress."
Piech was driven to his last annual general meeting as CEO in 2002 in a small two-seat one litre car prototype. The car had a carbon body and consumed just 0.89l of fuel per 100km.