Volkswagen’s announcement on March 28th that it was changing the name of it’s US arm to Voltswagen hinted its clean vehicle ambitions to the world and caused its stock price shoot up almost 20%. That is, before the name-change was revealed to be a poorly timed April Fool’s joke.
But what’s no joke is the importance of cleaner vehicles to the automobile industry. A NewtonX B2B panel survey to 130 senior executives across 11 of the largest automobile manufacturers in the US in February 2021 revealed that efforts to build their clean vehicle (hybrid and fully electric) businesses are among the top-3 priorities of almost 86% of OEMs, up from 79% in 2020. Major automobile manufacturers might not be changing their names. But they’re definitely making hybrids and EV even more of a top priority.
The top OEMs are also putting serious money into clean vehicles. The automobile industry senior executives reported that they spent 29% of their R&D budgets on research in clean fuels, hybrid cars, and EVs. And since NewtonX research revealed that the R&D budget of these car manufacturers averaged 5.6% of their revenue, that translates into each US automaker spending billions of dollars every year learning how to make cleaner vehicles and bring them to market.
They might not be changing their names. But NewtonX’s research shows, American manufacturers are putting major effort into these transformations.