Volkswagen is to slash investment spending by EUR1bn a year, change diesel emissions control technology and launch an electric Phaeton flagship, the brand's management board announced on Tuesday (13 October).

CEO Herbert Diess said there would be "a reorientation of the diesel strategy with the most advanced technologies", the development of a standardised electric architecture for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, and a new approach for the next generation Phaeton.

"Investments are to be reduced by some one billion euros per year, the efficiency programme is to be accelerated," VW said in a statement.

Diess said: "The Volkswagen brand is repositioning itself for the future. We are becoming more efficient, we are giving our product range and our core technologies a new focus, and we are creating room for forward-looking technologies by speeding up the efficiency programme."

New diesel strategy

VW will switch to diesel powertrains with emissions cleansed using SCR and AdBlue technology in Europe and North America "as soon as possible".

"Diesel vehicles will only be equipped with exhaust emissions systems that use the best environmental technology," the automaker said.

Development of the Modular Transverse Toolkit (MQB)

A "major development thrust" for the MQB standardised toolkit, for which Volkswagen Passenger Cars holds responsibility for development within the group, will focus on plug-in hybrids with a greater range, high volume electric vehicles with a radius of up to 300km (200 miles), a 48-volt power supply system (mild hybrid) as well as more efficient diesel, petrol and CNG powertrains.

A new standard with regard to connectivity and driver assistance systems is to be defined.

MEB electric toolkit

An MEB electric toolkit for future use in compact segment vehicles is to be developed based on the experience gained with existing vehicle architectures. This will be a multi-brand toolkit suitable for both passenger cars and light commercial vehicles and will use technology from other electric vehicle projects in the group. The standardised system will be designed for all body structures and vehicle types and will enable an all-electric range of 250lm to 500km .

Phaeton redefined as electric

The next generation Phaeton will again be the brand flagship but the board redefined the current project. The specification features a pure electric drive with long-distance capability, connectivity and next-generation assistance systems "as well as an emotional design".

Accelerated efficiency programme

Diess said: "We are very aware that we can only implement these innovations for the future of the Volkswagen brand effectively if we succeed with our efficiency programme and in giving our product range a new focus. Together with my board of management colleagues and the entire team we are working at top speed on these issues. Time and again, the Volkswagen team has proved it stands united and is fully focused on shaping the future, particularly when times are tough. We have now laid the further foundations for that."