Volkswagen models took the lead with readers of “auto motor und sport” magazine: the Golf, the Polo and the up! were all crowned “Best Cars 2018” in their respective categories.
Thomas Ulbrich becomes Head of E-Mobility
The Volkswagen brand is bolstering its e-mobility activities by creating a dedicated Board of Management for this division. Responsibility for this sector, which includes e-mobility and the production of vehicles on the new MEB platform, will be assumed by Thomas Ulbrich (51), previously Head of Production and Logistics. “This is the next, logical step on the path towards inter-divisional working,” explained Ulbrich on his inaugural visit to see the new G4 series. Turning to employees, he went on to add, “My aim is to ensure that this new business unit will support you in your work and help you to reach your goals.”
Thomas Ulbrich holds a degree in Automotive Engineering and has worked for the Group since 1989. In 1996, he became Head of Logistics at FAW-Volkswagen in China, before becoming Speaker of the Management Board of Auto 5000 in 2001. In 2008, he was appointed Head of Production at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and, in 2010, Technical Executive Vice President of Shanghai Volkswagen. Since April 2014, he has been Chairman of the Volkswagen brand group responsible for Production and Logistics.
Taking over from Ulbrich as Head of Production is Andreas Tostmann (55), who was previously Head of Production at Seat. Dr. Tostmann holds a degree in Industrial Engineering and has worked at Volkswagen since 1990. From 1995, he was responsible for technical project planning for drive systems within the Group until he became Plant Manager in Salzgitter in 2001. In 2004, he became Managing Director of Volkswagen South Africa, before taking over as Chairman of the Board at Volkswagen Slovakia three years later, where he also headed up the Production division. His move to Seat came in 2011.
New Group Record
In the financial year 2017, the Volkswagen Group delivered 10.74 million vehicles worldwide – more than ever before. In comparison to last year, deliveries have increased by 4.3 percent. Matthias Müller, Chairman and Managing Director of the Volkswagen Group, on the figures: “The historically-good delivery figures are, above all, a result of strong team performance by all group brands and employees.” The biggest single market was China with 4.2 million new vehicles.
Polo and Passat, made in Rwanda
In Rwanda, the brand has founded the company “Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda,” which offers app-based mobility services. This year, a car sharing service will be launched in the capital city of Kigali, with around 150 vehicles. This will be followed by a ride hailing service, or mobility on demand. All cars used to provide the services will be locally produced. For this purpose, production of the Polo and Passat will begin in Kigali with a local partner in the middle of this year. The mobility app will also be locally programmed. These activities will create up to 1,000 jobs at Volkswagen and its partners in Rwanda. The financial investment is 16 million euros and is part of the brand’s strategy to acquire promising new markets.
Volkswagen pilot drives for professional soccer player
The Bremen Bundesliga and German national football player Max Kruse (photo, left) is entering automotive racing sports. The 29-year-old, who once played for VfL Wolfsburg, has founded a racing team. “Max Kruse Racing” will make its debut with a 350-BHP Golf GTI TCR in the ADAC TCR Germany. The driver will be Volkswagen pilot Benjamin Leuchter (photo, center), who recently won the 24-hour race in Dubai.
Frank Blome has been in charge of technical development at the Center of Excellence for Batteries since the beginning of the year. Previously, the 48-year-old was CEO of German companies ACCUmotive and Li-Tec. He is a qualified electrical engineer and started his career at Continental.
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