The Volkswagen Group is the world’s largest private sector R&D investor. That is one of the key findings of the European Commission’s annual ‘Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard’ based on a sample of 2,000 international companies from various sectors of industry taken in 2012. With research and development costs of €9.5 billion (€7.2 billion in 2011), the Volkswagen Group tops the study’s ranking for the first time and is the only German company in the top ten.
Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, said,
“For us, the latest findings from the European Commission’s study are further confirmation of our strategy. Faced with tough global competition, Europe must focus more systematically on environmentally-friendly technologies and competitive products. Investment in research and development is both the foundation and the prerequisite for that, which is why the Volkswagen Group will continue with targeted investment in its innovative strength. We will remain a powerhouse of ideas for the European automotive industry.”
The research and development activities of the Volkswagen Group with its team of over 40,000 R&D specialists focuses on expanding the Group’s model range and continually improving the efficiency of vehicles, technologies and drivetrains. A large share of the Group’s investment is dedicated to achieving a further significant reduction in the CO2 emissions of its new vehicle fleet. As a result, these efforts centre on the electrification of the vehicle portfolio, improving the efficiency of the engine range and expanding the choice of alternative drive technologies.
Volkswagen are investing a total of €84.2 billion for new models, environmentally friendly technologies and production facilities over the coming years. The main focus of this money will be dedicated toward new vehicles and successor models for almost every vehicle class. The high level of expense is in part due to the changeover to the Euro 6 standards, meaning a complete revamp of all existing engines. In the area of powertrain production, new generations of engines will be launched offering additional enhancements to performance, fuel consumption and emission levels. In particular, the Group will continue to press ahead with the development of hybrid and electric motors.