As it works to recover from its diesel emissions scandal, VW will cut 30,000 jobs

Volkswagen Chattanooga factory
Although it remains mired in the “Dieselgate” emissions scandal, Volkswagen is managing to keep its head above water in terms of profitability. But its profits lag behind those of other major automakers, and so the company is planning some significant cuts.

The Volkswagen Group recently reached an agreement with German labor unions to cut 30,000 jobs from the core Volkswagen brand, reports Reuters. Unions agreed to the plan in exchange for a promise from VW that it would avoid forced redundancies until 2025. The company also promised to create 9,000 new jobs in the areas of battery production and mobility services.

The job cuts are part of a turnaround plan that will lead to an anticipated 3.7 billion euros ($3.9 billion) in savings by 2020, and lift the company’s operating margin from an estimated 2 percent for 2016 to 4 percent in 2020. That would still leave Volkswagen behind rivals like PSA Peugeot Citroen, which is targeting a 6-percent margin by 2021. But VW will likely continue spending money on the diesel scandal for fines, buybacks, recalls, and lawsuits.

Unions were reportedly pleased by the deal because it preserved a large number of jobs, and laid out a plan for jobs related to the emerging fields of electric cars and mobility services. The plan calls for VW to build its own battery packs and electric motors, keeping those jobs in-house. But the simpler nature of electric cars could still lead to job cuts: earlier this month, Volkswagen’s human resources boss said electric cars would lead to a “five-digit number” of job cuts.

VW’s plans to emphasize that electric cars and mobility services will also require a large R&D budget. Meanwhile, some analysts also believe the job cuts didn’t go deep enough. They won’t allow Volkswagen to become cost competitive with rivals like Toyota, Erik Gordon, a University of Michigan business professor, told Reuters. VW has 610,000 workers globally, but last year it built slightly fewer vehicles than Toyota, which has just 350,000 workers. VW also has a much larger lineup of brands, selling 340 models globally.

In addition to the job cuts in Germany, Volkswagen plans to cut jobs in North America, Brazil, and Argentina, although it did not provide further details. The company’s recent decision to end its successful World Rally Championship racing program is also attributed to the need to cut costs.

Emerging Tech

Toilet-scrubbing robot takes over one of the world’s crappiest jobs

When it comes to jobs that none of us enjoy, scrubbing the toilet would have to rank pretty highly. So why not hand the job over to robots? Very soon you might be able to do exactly that.
Home Theater

The seven best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2018.
Smart Home

These holiday gadgets will make cooking your meal a breeze

Are you dreading the lengthy process of cooking a holiday dinner? Try these holiday gadgets to make the job of cooking much easier. These items will make for an easy, breezy meal.

Ford teams up with Walmart to study consumer response to autonomous delivery

Last week it was Ford and VW, and this week Ford and Walmart are signaling a desire to work together on autonomous vehicles solutions. Ford and the giant retailer will study consumer reactions to self-driving delivery vehicles.

Lamborghini transforms the Urus SUV into a dual-purpose race car

Breaking stereotypes and tradition, Lamborghini has turned the Urus SUV into a race car that's equally at home on a paved track and on a dirt trail. The ST-X concept gets bigger air intakes, a full roll cage, and center-locking alloy…

Jaguar’s V2X technology will keep you from getting stuck at red lights

Jaguar wants to make sure you never have to rush through a yellow light again. The carmaker is building tools that will tell you what speed you'll need to drive to avoid getting stuck at a red light.
Product Review

While other crossovers dabble in dirt, Toyota's truck-like RAV4 doubles down

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 gets a clean-sheet redesign, ditching the previous generation’s car-like styling for truck-like toughness. Toyota’s compact crossover also gets more tech and new powertrains.

Drool over Lamborghini’s latest dream machine: The one-off SC18

The Lamborghini SC18 was built by the automaker's Squadra Corse racing department at the request of a customer. Based on the Lamborghini Aventador, it features upgraded aerodynamic aids and reduced weight.

Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn ousted, arrested after whistleblower cries foul

Nissan will oust chairman Carlos Ghosn after an internal investigation revealed he underreported his salary to Japan's financial authorities for years. Greg Kelly, one of Nissan's representative directors, will leave for the same reason.

Tesla owners will soon be able to summon a repair van in a few taps

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted out plans to expand the Tesla mobile app so Tesla owners can request on-demand service for common problems from Tesla Ranger mobile service vehicles in just a few taps.

2019 Crosstrek Hybrid has something no Subaru has ever had

The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid is the Japanese automaker's first production plug-in hybrid vehicle. It will go on sale before the end of the year. Subaru relied on plug-in hybrid tech from Toyota to make the Crosstrek Hybrid a reality.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Nissan turmoil, product designer Jae Yoo of Nerf, and more

For today's episode of Digital Trends Live, we turn our attention to the L.A. Auto Show and Lamborghini's race-ready version of the Urus. We also speak with Jae Yoo of Nerf and MLS defender Zarek Valentin about their origins, modern tech…

Mini’s most extreme hot hatchback will hit the streets in 2020

The Mini John Cooper Works GP concept first seen at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show will go into production in 2020, Mini has confirmed. The John Cooper Works GP is the ultimate performance version of the basic Mini Cooper.

Jaguar can take the next F-Type in one of two completely different directions

Jaguar needs to decide what the future has in store for the F-Type. Its options include turning the next-generation model into an electric car aimed at the Tesla Roadster or pelting it into the ring with a twin-turbocharged V8 from BMW.