Mr. Diess, do I have the wrong impression or are we far too slow when it comes to software development?
Diess: No, you’ve got it right. Digitalizing our vehicles is currently our biggest challenge. Many of the growing pains we’ve experienced in the recent past are the results of problems with the functionality of the software. The importance of software in cars will continue to increase significantly, which will make it a crucial competitive factor. We still don’t have enough in-house expertise for this. This also has to do with the fact that, in the past, we had outsourced almost 80 percent of our electrics/electronics. My goal is for us to develop more software ourselves again. To achieve this, we need to hire new software engineers and properly train our employees. This opens up new opportunities for many colleagues. You don’t necessarily have to have studied computer science to be able to program.
Osterloh: Speaking of software, the company management has simply been asleep at the wheel – for years – in terms of setting the right course. Other areas, whether exterior or interior, have enjoyed higher priority. The topic of digitalization, however, has not played enough of a role at Volkswagen. That needs to change. It isn’t all that easy to find IT experts on the labor market right now. That’s why those of us on the Works Council have always stressed that we can retrain employees with a passion for IT within our own ranks.
This is also a major issue in the Zukunftspakt. More has to be done here.