Volkswagen up! (Viert¸rer)

German automaker Volkswagen has announced a significant change in the organisation of vehicle development. Previously, responsibilities for technology, quality, cost, deadline compliance and cost-effectiveness were distributed across various divisions and differentiated into individual models groups. The change will effectively see these responsibilities “lay in one hand.”

“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,” explained Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen Passenger Cars. He also added that the teams will allow for the creation of a “robust product portfolio fit for the future.”

“This step represents a core element of ‘New Volkswagen,’ the new strategic direction of our brand,” said Diess, who is also chairman of the board of management. In addition to that, the move will also see cross-functional collaboration strengthened as well. From the concept to the end of life-cycle for any model, responsibilities will be tasked to four series groups.

In charge of the small vehicles group, which comprises of vehicles such as the up!, Polo and sedan cars as well as small SUVs in the future, will be Klaus-Gerhard Wolpert. Wolpert has led product management for the Volkswagen brand and group since 2010.

Secondly, compact, which is also known as the “Golf-class group,” includes hatchback, notchback sedans, estate cars and SUVs. This team will be headed by Karlheinz Hell, who was group purchasing manager for electrics/ electronics at Volkswagen since 2014.

Thirdly, is the mid- and full-size group. This will include vehicles like the Passat to the Sharan and future mid-size SUVs to the Touareg. This group will be led by Dr. Elmar-Marius Licharz, who was in charge of product controlling at Volkswagen AG since 2014.

The fourth group, Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), includes the e-up!, e-Golf and all other electric vehicles including the BUDD-e concept showcased at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show. This team will be headed by Christian Senger who was previously from Continental AG, overseeing the automotive systems and technology division.

Another newly-formed strategy and products division, will act as a partner to support each manager in the four series groups. This division’s responsibilities include the definition of life-cycles and coordination of major product events. While not stated outright, the new group structure is quite likely due to the recent events that have been troubling the German brand.

So guys, do you think this reorganisation will help prevent another ‘dieselgate‘ scandal? Share with us your comments below.