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Q&A: Volkswagen’s Jacoby & Hackenberg

Betting on something the consumer may not want.

by on Sep.25, 2009

Governments may force the industry to build battery cars, like the 2013 Volkswagen e-Up, but governments will also need to subsidize their sale, says VW's global technology chief, Ulrich Hackenberg.

Governments may force the industry to build battery cars, like the 2013 Volkswagen e-Up, but governments will also need to subsidize their sale, says VW's global technology chief, Ulrich Hackenberg.

“If you build it, they will come,” goes the oft-quoted line from the film, “Field of Dreams.”  That’s the guiding principle of the auto industry, though in the coming years, there’s no guarantee consumers really will come to showrooms for some of the products now on the industry’s drawing boards.

Take the “e-Up,” the little electric car that Volkswagen unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show, earlier this month.  Based on the smallest car in the VW line-up, it’s designed to meet tough new emissions and fuel economy standards, but at a stiff price premium – and with a trade-off on range.

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Whether there really will be a market for e-Up or any of the other plug-ins, E-REVS or battery cars is one of the questions TheDetroitBureau.com posed to two of Volkswagen’s top officials, global technology chief Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, and Stefan Jacoby, CEO of Volkswagen of America.

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