VW company uses 12 different brands in selling its vehicles: Audi, Bugatti, Seat, Scania, Bentley, Porsche, Ducati, Skoda, Lamborghini, Man, VW Commercial Vehicles, and VW (Volkswagen, n.d). None of VW’s rivals has as many brands under its management as Volkswagen. For instance, General Motors has only ten brands, while Toyota has only four brands. Moreover, following the external market pressures and their emission scandal, VW has adopted a specific strategic plan, which aims at ensuring the delivery of the major goals by 2025 (Volkswagen, n.d). Interestingly, the plan focuses on the introduction of 30 modern electric vehicles by 2025, development of new competence in autonomous driving, battery technology, and digitalization, and to venture on increasing research and development expenditure to double-digit billion scope (Ketchen & Short, 2015).
The company has received negative publicity and major criticism following the ‘diesel-gate ‘ scandal (Volkswagen, n.d). The company put software code inside its diesel vehicles in 2015 to manage divergent levels of emission throughout the testing of its vehicles. Further, VW was scrutinized and found guilty of diesel emissions in a number of countries, which consequently led to many fines for the company which amounted to € 16.2 billion.
There has been a great demand for autonomous vehicles. Ideally, more than 33 companies have channeled their focus on autonomous vehicles since the estimated market value by 2025 is $45 billion (Volkswagen, n.d). Coincidentally, this estimate could benefit VW since it goes hand in hand with the company’s strategic plan. In case the company introduces its autonomous vehicles, it would gain a competitive advantage over the rivals through increased market share.
VW faces intense competition from new entrants, traditional automotive companies, and saturation of its key markets (Volkswagen, n.d). For instance, Chinese manufacturers offer lower prices for the same quality vehicles which poses a major threat for VW. Furthermore, there are likely further damages and fines that will have to be fully paid. The company has numerous lawsuits globally aimed at convicting VW for cheating on their emission data. Consequently, the company will be subjected to additional damages and fines (Volkswagen, n.d).