The move is reportedly so as to take advantage of the expected rapid growth in demand for plug-in electric vehicles (of various types) over the coming decade or so.
“In future, we no longer want to operate just as a pure diesel group,” CEO Frank Hiller stated in a recent interview with Reuters. That interview followed shortly after it was announced by Deutz that it would be acquiring the electric drive specialist firm Torqeedo.
Reuters provides further information on the news: “The takeover has swallowed most of the 100 million euros ($118 million) in investments allocated to the new push, Hiller said, adding he expected the new products to account for 5-10 percent of group sales within five years.”
“Deutz, whose shares were up 3.4 percent and among the biggest gainers in Frankfurt’s smallcap index, made sales of 1.26 billion euros in 2016.”
While this news is probably not all that important when taken on its own, it’s still interesting when taken as a signpost for where the broader auto market is headed.
It seems as though most of the auto industry is now either working to transition to the very different reality that’s expected to accompany the rollout of electric vehicles and self-driving tech, or at least releasing PR meant to suggest that. Volkswagen is popularly considered to be a prime example of that second approach. Interesting times…