Volkswagen’s new boss, Martin Winterkorn, has ordered a thorough review of quality at the German car maker as part of a program aimed at raising its international competitiveness following embarrassingly low scores in recent quality surveys.
In a meeting with high-ranking managers at VW’s Wolfsburg headquarters, Winterkorn vowed to use lessons learned during his time as head of Audi to make VW a leader in quality in its class.
Central among Winterkorn’s plans is a quality benchmark described as fitting the profile of Toyota’s. “Future Volkswagen models will have the exterior appearance, haptic [ergonomic] qualities and retained value to beat the competition,” he is reported as saying.
As part of Winterkorn’s quality initiative, the incumbent head of quality at Volkswagen, Falko Schling, is expected to be replaced by current Audi quality boss Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler.
Among the measures already taken to bolster the quality of future VWs is the replacement of the proposed door seals on next year’s sixth-generation Golf with an alternative suggested by Volkswagen’s new development boss, Ulrich Hackenberg.
Another car coming under intense scrutiny is the upcoming new Polo, which is being reviewed with the view to improving the trim materials used for its dashboard.