German auto giant Volkswagen (VLKAY) is promising to introduce up to 40 new electric and hybrid vehicles by 2018 as part of a strategy to increase worldwide sales.
The company recently showed off its e-Up and e-Golf electric vehicles at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Volkswagen is trying to shrug off slipping sales in the U.S. by increasing its electric car commitment in a bid to become the world’s top-selling automaker. It has devised a decade-long plan to drive a three-fold increase in U.S. sales, the Detroit News notes.
Volkswagen will offer 14 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles across all of its brands by 2014. If the vehicles prove successful, additional models will debut in succeeding years. The company’s CEO predicts that Volkswagen will be the leading electric car maker by 2018.
A move toward electric vehicles replaces the company’s previous focus on diesel engines. American consumers can expect the e-Golf to arrive in the U.S. in early 2015.
Volkswagen’s CEO noted that the auto maker has hired “400 top experts for electric traction and qualified almost 70,000 development, production and service employees” to drive its advance in the electric vehicle market.
Another company official acknowledged that Volkswagen remained behind some rivals in the electric vehicle segment and would not reveal its electric vehicle sales goals.