Currently reading: VW Group strategy boss quits to develop electric yachts
Key figure in German giant's roll-out of electric vehicles leaves firm after a decade

Volkswagen Group strategy chief Michael Jost, a key figure in developing the group's expansive electrification plan, has quit the car giant - to focus on developing autonomous electric boats.

Jost joined the VW Group a decade ago, initially as Skoda's product strategy boss before moving to the Volkswagen brand in 2015. He was promoted to head of group strategy in 2018, where he was heavily involved in mapping out the group's electric vehicle plans, including the development of the MEB electric platform and the forthcoming Project Trinity.

Jost announced his departure on his website and hinted that home working during the coronavirus pandemic had prompted him to devote more time to his family.

At the same time, Jost said he would pursue his interest in the development of electric and autonomous 'smart boats', describing it as "a nautical passion that I will devote myself to together with the family."

His website suggests he will take on a role with a boat manufacturer called Silent Yachts. The Austrian firm recently secured an agreement with the Volkswagen Group for the Seat brand to supply MEB platforms and electric powertrain components that will be utilised on a planned line of electric yachts.

That deal was explained on the Volkswagen Group website in an interview with Jost and Smart Yachts boss Michael Kohler. In that piece, Jost said the aim was to have an electric yacht using MEB components testing by 2022.


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James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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289 11 March 2021

Peculiar name for a Yacht company (Silent Yachts).

Yachts by their very definition are silent, being driven by the wind! Whats the electric bit for - a fan powered by battery to angle at the sails when there is a lack of wind??

If its for an auxiliary engine, then there is nothing new here.

Peter Cavellini 10 March 2021

More money in Yachts?

Lapps 10 March 2021

There is something strange going on in the VAG Group. Senior  managers are moving both around and out of the organisation like there is no tomorrow. (Perhaps there isn't!)