When Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn announced earlier this week that VW plans to become a major player in the promising electric car market, I thought to myself, "Let's see which VW will stand behind this commitment."
Will it be the Volkswagen that is the sales leader in Europe and China and has recently made some shrewd moves to position itself for a run at #1 global automaker? Or will it be the VW that has made halfhearted attempts for the last twenty years to truly win over American car-buyers?
My gut says VW will follow through on this commitment and make the investments needed to catch up and compete in electric cars. The market potential is too great and ignoring it would be a foolish move long term. If VW can catch up with Toyota, Nissan and GM (and yes, there is plenty of time for that to happen), the German automaker is in a great position to ride the electric car wave.
Like GM, Volkswagen has long been a leading player in China, the world's largest auto market. As the smog thickens over Beijing with more cars being sold, China will push even faster to develop its electric car market. If it has its green act together, VW should do well when China goes electric.