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.
Record sales in November
The Volkswagen brand has sold more cars in November than in any month previously. Last month 594,300 cars were handed over to customers around the world. From January to November of this year the brand has delivered 5.64 million cars – 4 percent more than in the same period last year. “We are showing positive momentum up to the end of the year in all regions,” says Jürgen Stackmann, board member in charge of sales. He is especially pleased that “more and more customers are switching to our e-models.” Some 3,000 orders were placed in Europe in November alone.
Hearty congratulations, Johan!
Johan Kristoffersson (29), who drives for the Volkswagen Sweden team, has won the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship. He also finished first in the last race of the season, held in Cape Town, for a total of seven wins. But if that wasn’t enough, he took a place on the winners’ platform after 11 of 12 contests in this year’s championship series – a record! “This has been a fantastic season,” he says. “It’s hard to believe how much we have accomplished.” He noted that the level of competition this year has increased yet again, adding, “And my teammate Petter Solberg did a great job too.” Solberg, who also raced in a 419-kW (570 hp) Polo GTI Supercar, shared the team laurels with Kristoffersson. That means two world championship titles for the Volkswagen Sweden team in what has been a very impressive rallycross season.
T-Roc on air
The marketing campaign for the T-Roc was launched at the end of November with a TV commercial. By the end of the year, the 360° campaign for the new, compact SUV model will go on the air in many European countries. A catchy slogan is used in the TV commercial, the newspaper and magazine ads, online formats and on all the posters: “Born confident. The new T-Roc.”
New head of Powertrain
From January 2018, Kurt Blumenröder will be head of Powertrain Development at
the Volkswagen brand in Wolfsburg. A mechanical and industrial engineer, he has been the spokesman of the management board of IAV GmbH in Braunschweig since 2005. He began his career at Daimler in 1990. As head of Powertrain Development, Blumenröder will succeed Friedrich Eichler, who was appointed head of Chassis Development on September 1.
vehicles have been produced at the Zwickau plant since the site was founded in 1990.
Volkswagen We portal now available as app
It’s an important milestone for digitalization. The new app for the customer portal Volkswagen We can now be uploaded onto your smartphone at the Apple App Store and Google Play Store free of charge. “With the new app, our customers remain constantly in direct contact with their Volkswagen partners and the Volkswagen brand,” explains Thomas Zahn, head of Sales and Marketing Germany. “We are convinced that the personalized contents and convenient services will raise the customer relationship to a new level.” The Volkswagen We app can be used, say, to schedule a service appointment or plan a test drive. In addition, customers can receive offers from their dealership or read about what’s new in the world of Volkswagen in the magazine section. Of course, everything can be set up as the users want it, customized to their individual preferences.
Top scores for Polo and T-Roc
The new Polo and the T-Roc achieved 5 stars, the maximum number of points in the Euro NCAP crash tests. Board member for Development Frank Welsch explained: “This outstanding rating for the Polo and T-Roc by Euro NCAP shows once again that we offer maximum safety to drivers of small cars and compact models as well.” In the “Mini Car” category, the Polo received the outstanding result of 96 percent for accident scenarios for “adult passengers.” The T-Roc matched this in the “Compact SUV” category, also receiving 96 percent. The Euro NCAP (“European New Car Assessment Programme”) is an international, independent organization based in Brussels, and provides car buyers with current information about the safety of the most popular cars sold in Europe.
Polo: Fuel consumption in l/100 km: 4.8 to 4.4 (combined), CO₂ emissions in g/km: 110 to 101 (combined), efficiency class: B
T-Roc: Fuel consumption in l/100 km: 6.8 to 5.1 (combined), CO₂ emissions in g/km: 155 to 116 (combined), efficiency class: D to B
A Golf is the anniversary car
Production in the new assembly plant in Relizane, Algeria, has been successfully launched. The multiple-brand joint venture was founded some three-and-a-half months ago by Volkswagen and Sovac S.P.A. In mid-November, the 10,000th vehicle rolled off the production line there: a Golf. Deputy plant manager Mokhtar Naili says, “We are very happy with the results that our team has achieved thanks to Volkswagen’s support.” Algerian employees in Production, Logistics and Quality Assurance were trained on site by experts from the Group brands. In addition, management and supervisors underwent the qualification program Train the Trainer, in which they learned how to explain standardized procedures to their employees and then train them in these procedures. There are now 550 employees working in the new assembly plant in Relizane. Up to 200 Golf, Caddy, and other Group models can be manufactured there each day. Starting in 2018, the Polo and the Skoda Fabia will be added to the range.
Golf: Fuel consumption in l/100 km: 5.3 to 3.9 (combined), CO₂ emissions in g/km: 129 to 102 (combined), efficiency classes: C–A
cars were delivered by the brand last month – the best October ever.
The MEB comes to China
In preparation for its worldwide e-mobility campaign, the Volkswagen brand has taken an important step together with its Chinese partners FAW and SAIC. The recently signed contracts regulate how the Chinese joint ventures SAIC Volkswagen and FAW-Volkswagen will work together in the future to produce electric vehicles. The modular electric drive matrix (MEB) is the basis for Volkswagen automobiles that will be built in China starting in 2020. The
MEB is the most important Group platform of the future, and a trailblazer in electric mobility for the Group. The MEB technology is specifically designed for electric drives. It is an extensive matrix for the emission-free mobility of the future; at the same time, it is attractively designed, flexible in its construction, and its interior can be adapted to the individual preferences of customers. China will be an important market for Volkswagen in the area of electric mobility. Over the coming years, plug-in hybrid models and battery-operated electric models will be introduced and produced in China.
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