Volkswagen has reorganized its vehicle development at its core brand, as the automaker aims to increase profits and to adapt more quickly to market trends.
As part of the changes, the responsibility for technology, quality, cost and deadline compliance, and the responsibility for cost-effectiveness, now lies in one hand for the first time, Volkswagen said in statement. Until now, these responsibilities were distributed across different divisions and differentiated into individual models groups as well. “We have to ensure that the corporate responsibility for each vehicle project is clearly assigned. We expect these changes to yield an acceleration boost in development,” Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management, said. “This step represents a core element of ‘New Volkswagen’, the new strategic direction of our brand.” The brand’s new chief executive Diess plans to cut investments at the division by 1 billion euros (per year compared with previous targets and speed up efforts to increase cost savings.
The new organisation bundles competencies into four series groups containing several model series:
1. Small: The small vehicles group such as up! and Polo includes saloon cars, as well as small SUVs in future and is headed up by Klaus-Gerhard Wolpert (59), who has led product management for the Volkswagen brand and the Group since 2010.
2. Compact: Also known as the Golf-class group, this group ranges from hatchback and notchback saloon cars and estate cars to SUVs. Karlheinz Hell (52), who has been Group Purchasing Manager for Electrics/ Electronics at Volkswagen since 2014, takes over the management.
3. Mid- and Full-size: This product portfolio ranges from the Passat to the Sharan, and the future mid-size SUV to the Touareg, and is headed up by Dr Elmar-Marius Licharz (45) who has led Product Controlling at Volkswagen AG for the Volkswagen brand since 2010.
4. BEV: Battery Electric Vehicles are already present in the brand in the form of e-up! and e-Golf. E-vehicles with a greater range are to be developed in this group. The BUDD-e concept car presented at the 2016 CES represents an example of this. The BEV series group is headed up by Christian Senger (41), who comes to Volkswagen from Continental AG, where he led the Automotive Systems and Technology division.