MUNICH -- Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess said autonomous cars, not electric vehicles, were the "real game changer" for the auto industry.
"Autonomous driving is really going to change our industry like nothing else before," Diess said on Sunday ahead of the official opening of the IAA Munich auto show.
The shift toward electrified cars was "kind of easy" in comparison, Diess said.
"The real game changer is software and autonomous driving," he added.
Diess is aiming to overtake Tesla and turn VW Group into the world's largest seller of electric vehicles by 2025.
He is also targeting software services for autonomous cars as a pillar of the automaker's future business, which is why VW has bought into self-driving software startup Argo AI, which also has Ford as a partner.
VW expects 1.2 trillion euros ($1.43 trillion) of software-enabled sales in the car sector by 2030, accounting for about a quarter of the global mobility market, which is expected to more than double to 5 trillion euros as a result.
"By 2030, about 85 percent of our business is cars, private cars, privately owned, shared rental cars. And about 15 percent of mobility should be shuttles, mobility as a service," Diess said.