the major manufacturers are starting to pull the handbrake

This is the big blur after the sprint. A few months ago, in Wolfsburg, Volkswagen’s stronghold, the real boss was called Elon Musk. Because Herbert Diess, the CEO of the group only has eyes for the American billionaire and the success of his brand: Tesla. According to Diess, obsessed with his teacher, it is necessary to do this, and rather very quickly, to completely switch to electric. Since then, he has been gone and his replacement, Oliver Blume, has been far from nurturing the same love for the troublemaker of the States, his escapades and his electric cars.

The one who was the boss of Porsche before taking over the management of the group (while remaining CEO of the sports brand) clearly has no intention of questioning the electrification made. When we put nearly 70 billion on the table to get out of thermals, we’re a little hesitant to pull out. But he intends to calm things down. Beginning, 100 days after taking office, by freezing some projects, particularly Landjet, Audi’s future high-end and the new SSP electric platform.

The ID3, Volkswagen’s first electric car, had a complicated start.

So we calmed down, and we put together what we already had before moving on. This is how one of the projects that Blume wants to get down to is the software, the same ones that weighed down the launch of ID3 and somewhat tarnished the image quality of VW. The electric yes, but when we are ready, Blume apparently explained to its shareholders, telling them “that the foundations of the house are good, but the cellar must be empty and the roof changed.” The metaphor of a mason to explain that the runaway for watts is over, or rather, postponed. For him, the urgency, beyond software, is to catch up with the enemy of all time, Toyota, and not let ourselves be taken over by another, more recent enemy: Stellantis.

The top three global manufacturers are cautious

In this fight to stay on the world automotive podium, and possibly grab the top spot, Blume is well aware that he is not alone in showing Sioux caution when it comes to electric vehicles. We know the reluctance of Carlos Tavares, the owner of Stellantis, in this area, and the delay, whether voluntary or not, of Toyota in this area. Delay that does not prevent the Japanese from staying at the top, which did not escape the VW boss.

It also didn’t escape him that the new Toyota Prius that just appeared, and will be available next spring, doesn’t have a 100% electric version. how? While everyone is rocking the world of watts, the brand’s most famous car, the one that invented hybridization in 1997, eschews zero emissions to settle for a plug-in hybrid version? But what a mistake, pseudo experts seem to say. An error that does not prevent the Japanese from becoming world number one. However, Toyota has given up on the electric fairy sirens, but between the delayed launch and poor autonomy of its BZ4X, it’s playing it safe. Like Volkswagen, which experienced the same kind of failure with its ID3.

The Toyota BZ4X suffered the same fate as the 3, with a chaotic launch.
The Toyota BZ4X suffered the same fate as the 3, with a chaotic launch.

In Germany, as in Japan, do we become rational and tell ourselves that we are in a bit of a hurry? In any case, as is the case for the autonomous car, the electric car seems to have, not a lead in the wing, but a delay in ignition. The desire to calm things down on the part of the big automakers has also been fueled by the reluctance of French and Italian politicians who seem to welcome the move, but reluctantly.

As a result, for the past few months, manufacturers have only had two expressions in mind: “review clause” and “moratorium”. Two expressions they want to come true. The “review clause” is nothing more than the re-examination, in 2026, of the text voted last June and some want it to lead to a “moratorium”. The latter makes it possible to freeze the application of a text and postpone it. In politics, this is often the way soft to leave a proposal, a decision to not harm anyone Will we get there in four years? No one has the faintest idea, but when the bulk of politicians and industrialists are in agreement, and so are consumers, there is little opposition to disagree.

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