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The employee magazine
of the Volkswagen brand

Innovation

Building the digital future

The Think New! Organization, which operates like a start-up and is based in Wolfsburg and Berlin, is developing digital mobility services, a new customer platform, and the business models of tomorrow. inside spoke to two employees at this “workshop of the future.”

The sun floods into the open-plan office. A white, single-speed bicycle with light blue wheel rims leans against the wall. The workstations resemble those of a start-up: modern and open, with sitting areas and high tables. Some areas are still being built, as operations began just four months ago. Here, in the former Johannishof in the heart of Berlin, Volkswagen’s digital future is being shaped.

Alina Grandt and Tim Hartmann are helping to shape this future. They were on board when the new sales department in the Think New! Organization – TN!O for short – was founded. Grandt, 26, comes from a real Volkswagen family in Wolfsburg. Both her grandfathers and her father work in the plant. She herself joined Volkswagen in 2010. Very soon, the qualified industrial manager and business administrator switched to the founder team of TN!O.

At what is known as a “pulse board meeting,” Alina Grandt, Tim Hartmann, and Jens Böhlke get a quick overview of current projects.

Today, she works in the team responsible for WePark – an app which makes carrying small change for parking superfluous. WePark was recently launched in Berlin. “It’s a real success story for our team,” says Grandt. “We first had to actually learn how to develop mobility services such as WePark.” That’s because the necessary processes were not yet in existence.

Tim Hartmann, 31, agrees. He has been working in TN!O for five months and is building WeDeliver with his team. This service will enable packages to be delivered directly to a car trunk. The team works in close collaboration with Technical Development and the G4 series (electric mobility) in Wolfsburg, as well as with the Digital Lab in Berlin.

Into the digital world with TN!O

Digitalization is increasing, new ­mobility services are emerging, people are sharing cars and using them jointly – these major trends in the automotive industry will be influenced and partly shaped by Volkswagen. This is why the Think New! Organization was founded. TN!O pools all the Volkswagen brand’s digital and mobility services with the aim of developing and operating innovative solutions and mobility services with agility, flexibility, and speed. The TN!O aims to strengthen ­Volkswagen’s core automotive business by developing and running innovative services that can win over new customers for the brand in the digital world.

In the TN!O, prototypes are developed, ­evaluated, tested, and adapted in what are called “sprints,” and in direct contact with users. In this way, ­feedback flows directly into the development of the services. The result is an an innovative customer and mobility experience.

Around 80 TN!O employees work in Berlin, and over 220 more in Wolfsburg. Together with experts from Product ­Management, Technical Development, IT, and the G4 series, they form cross-functional teams at both sites and are developing mobility services such as Car-Net, WePark, WeDeliver, and Volkswagen Connect. The teams work in a creative environment with common goals and flat hierarchies.

Job vacancies are on the internal recruitment page.

This interconnected way of working has much to do with the special atmosphere of the TN!O workplace. When necessary, people can jump into another project to help out for a bit. “You have to want, and enjoy, the constant change,” Hartmann explains. “I myself find it very exciting.” Alina Grandt agrees and adds, “We at TN!O all share a strong passion: we want to make a difference and make a real contribution to the digital future of Volkswagen.” Ideal preconditions for creating the next major digital service.

At the product design workshop, TN!O staff develop ideas for future prototypes.

» Everyone in our TN!O teams knows very well that we have to go in a new direction. «