An electric future for VW delivers a surprise shock to 7,000 staff.
That's the number the car giant outlined on Wednesday - as positions to be cut ....
In a plan for 6.7 billion dollars of annual savings at its core brand.
"We want to cut overhead costs and personnel requirements by 15 percent by 2023 .... With the increased automisation of routine tasks there will be less personnel needed."
VW has ruled out compulsory layoffs for now.
Instead, seeking early retirement in admin positions at VW HQ in Wolfsburg.
2,000 new software jobs will be created, it says, as well as electronics positions.
The VW brand has struggled to raise profitability ...
And the new cost cuts will add to an existing plan - for around three and half billion dollars of savings by next year.
Last year, operating margins at just 3.8 percent underperformed peers like Peugeot's with over eight per cent.
Even so, VW described it as a 'good year'.
"Despite many challenges and a strong headwind we were able to get a solid result. With a global delivery of 6,24 million vehicles we achieved a new record."
With the first car on its electric platform - the "ID" - due to hit showrooms in 2020 ....
VW wants to become the world's biggest producer of electric vehicles by 2025.
The core brand alone has plans for 20 new electric models.