HANOVER, Germany -- Volkswagen Group's top management expects further disputes with labor leaders on cost savings as the automaker pushes an efficiency drive to help fund a strategic shift following the diesel-emissions scandal, CEO Matthias Mueller said.
"Our path is undoubtedly challenging, it causes friction and sometimes even conflict," Mueller said at the annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday.
"But all those involved are clearly aware of what's at stake."
Separately, Mueller said VW was holding intensive talks with possible partners in Europe and China on battery cells, without being more specific. The automaker will soon disclose more details, Mueller said.
VW is pondering production of battery cells at a new research facility in Salzgitter, Germany, as it plans to triple investment in electric drives to about 9 billion euros ($9.80 billion) through 2022.