German manufacturer says reshuffle recognises the impact of software and systems to vehicles' driving experience
25 February 2019

Volkswagen has created a new division, Digital Car and Services, in recognition of the increasing importance of software to the performance of its vehicles.

The creation of the division is one of a number of changes the firm has made to its operations and management, which it says are designed to strengthen “the steering of its business operations”.

Christian Senger, who previously headed Volkswagen’s eMobility operations, will head the new division and sit on the Volkswagen board.

The division’s role is to act as a software competence centre, with responsibility for both the Volkswagen brand and the wider Volkswagen Group.

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said its creation reflected that software “accounts for an ever-growing proportion of total value added, and therefore has a significant impact on the performance and characteristics of our vehicles”.

In his e-mobility role, Senger oversaw the conceptual development of Volkswagen’s new MEB electric car platform, as well as its upcoming range of ID-branded electric vehicles. His move is one of several on the board.

Ralf Brandstätter, Volkswagen's COO, is relinquishing his management of procurement activities to take responsibility for the company’s small, compact and mid/full product lines. He will assume responsibility for what the company describes as “value engineering and quality assurance” within the brand, providing Diess with greater leeway for shouldering the strategic tasks faced by the Group.

Those product lines were previously the responsibility of technical chief Frank Welsch, who Diess said will now be free to focus on his other role – heading group research and development – and “forge ahead with the development of alternative powertrains, future-orientated assistance systems and sustainable mobility for the brand”.

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Welsch is credited with the development of recent and upcoming Volkswagen models, including the upcoming eighth-generation Golf, which is due to be revealed later this year.

The product safety committee will remain under the responsibility of Diess.

The management of procurement will now be headed by Stefan Sommer. 

Read more

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Diess: Volkswagen Group 'was a slow, lumbering supertanker'

Volkswagen's MEB electric car platform: full details revealed

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Comments
3

25 February 2019

 Just thought I’d put it out there, creating this division to show that they’re changing?, we’ll see....

25 February 2019

....funniest headline I have seen for ages.

Who said Germans don’t have a sense of humour?

 

I bet the rest of the motor industry are not laughing at the devastation being wrought by VW’s diesel deceit.

25 February 2019

There's a nagging worry here. Car manufacturers are good at what they do, making things that are sold on finance that they market well. The exponential increase in the lines of code needed for a car is something that requires a huge increase in staff, often expensive ones unless outsourced to lower-cost countries. The far easier interfaces of Apple and Google over the OEMs seems to indicate that the front-end user experience battle is one that the OEMs are not winning. They could, but it will take a lot of effort and might be essential since a large part of the branded driving/user experience will be gifted to Apple or Android.

The back-end coding of how stuff we half-notice like lane control rear wiper actuation in the rain while reversing - it all takes time to do. My worry is whether VW et al is going to go it alone when a wiser approach might be for co-operative agreement is better for this back-end stuff - either OEM managed or sold semi-off-the-sheld by an SAP-type business or Infosys outsourced, offshored coding resource?

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