The president of Volkswagen called on shareholders at the company’s annual meeting on Tuesday to invest 100 billion euros ($108 billion) by 2025 to develop mass-market electric vehicles.
Christian Klingler said the world’s largest carmaker, which expects a slight drop in profits this year after six straight years of strong growth, has lost the battle to become the industry leader in EVs by being too slow to enter the market.
“We have to catch up and I say that what we have in the pipeline will satisfy all consumers. Is it enough? Not by a long shot,” Klingler said.
Still, he urged shareholders to extend the term of the supervisory board chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch by one year in order to give the company more time to recover from a wave of scandal.
A maximum of 10 percent of shares were cast at Tuesday’s meeting, which failed to garner the required quorum to proceed.
Volkswagen said it had been able to end a “catastrophic decline” in its profitability last year but warned that profits could be diluted this year as it spends billions of euros to help rebuild its image in the U.S. and China.