Faculty 73: More Applicants than Expected
A strong start for Faculty 73: almost 1,500 women and men applied for the first 100 places at Volkswagen’s new training facility for IT specialists and software developers. Ralph Linde had expected no more than 500 applicants. The Head of the Volkswagen Group Academy says, “Our expectations have been exceeded by far.”
Chief Human Resources Officer Gunnar Kilian thinks that the great response makes for a brilliant start. He emphasizes, “The applicants recognized the opportunity that Faculty 73 offers: intensive training in IT and software-related areas and secure employment based on this training.” The first cohort will begin their course at the “AutoUni” in Wolfsburg in March. Based on the results from an online test as the first step in the selection process, 250 applicants – more than two thirds of them existing employees – were invited to attend the selection days. Background: the offer is aimed at Volkswagen AG employees as well as individuals seeking work and university dropouts.The training takes two years. It comprises a basic qualification, for instance in math, physics, and programming languages. This is followed by gaining an advanced qualification that focuses above all on automotive software development.
With this new training offered at Faculty 73, Volkswagen is hoping to overcome the shortage of IT specialists in the labor market. One thing is clear: the first cohort of 100 will only be the start. Chief Human Resources Officer Gunnar Kilian says, “The demand for IT staff both for the brand and the Group as a whole is far greater than the supply. Partly because the launch of Faculty 73 went so well, we are already looking into whether we can take on more people to join the training program in the summer.”
Names & News
ULRICH EICHHORN (57), currently serving as Group Head of Research and Development, will assume the position of Chairman of the Management Board of IAV GmbH in Berlin with effect from January 1. Eichhorn’s current role will be taken over by Frank Welsch, Head of Technical Development for Volkswagen, in a dual role. Eichhorn holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering. After starting his career at Ford, he served as Head of Volkswagen Group Research from 2000 to 2003. In 2003, he took over as Head of Technical Development at Bentley before joining the German Association of the Automotive Industry as Managing Director in 2012. He returned to Volkswagen in 2016. Welsch (54) holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering. He started his career in 1994 at Volkswagen Group Research. In 2009, he moved to Shanghai Volkswagen as Head of Development; in 2011, he assumed responsibility for vehicle body, equipment and safety development for the Volkswagen brand. From 2012, he was Head of Technical Development at Škoda. And in 2015, he then became Head of Technical Development for the Volkswagen brand.
OLIVER GRÜNBERG (48), who currently serves as Technical Director and Deputy General Director at Volkswagen Group Rus, is due to take over as Chairman of the Executive Board and Head of Technology at Volkswagen Slovakia in Bratislava. He will be replacing Ralf Sacht, who will head Toolmaking for the Volkswagen brand in Wolfsburg in future. Grünberg studied physics at Braunschweig University of Technology and obtained his doctorate there as well. He started at Volkswagen as a PhD student in 1995. Among other positions he has held, he served as Head of Production at the Kaluga plant in Russia from 2007 to 2009. He became Managing Director at Škoda in India in 2010 and took over brand planning for Škoda in Mladá Boleslav in 2014.
STEFAN DEPKA (44) is due to take over as Technical Director of Volkswagen Group Rus in February, where he will be responsible for passenger car and engine production at the Kaluga plant and for the production site in Nizhniy Novgorod. He will succeed Oliver Grünberg, who will take over as Сhairman of the Executive Board at Volkswagen Slovakia. Depka is currently Head of Production at the FAW-Volkswagen plant in Foshan, China. He previously held the same position at the Volkswagen plant in Navarra, Spain. He started with Volkswagen in 2003. Depka holds degrees in mechanical engineering and economics.
Employee Receives the Order of Merit
A very special honor for an employee in Wolfsburg – Ines Doberanzke-Milnikel (47) was awarded the Order of Merit by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin a few days ago. The social education worker was honored at Bellevue Palace for her volunteer work at the Association for the Promotion of the International Youth Meeting Center Oświęcim/Auschwitz (IYMC) and for her professional and social engagement at Volkswagen.
At Volkswagen, the Magdeburg native coordinates international exchange and encounter programs, as well as memorial work at Auschwitz in Poland with trainees and managers. Over the past 30 years, more than 3,000 vocational school students from Poland and Volkswagen trainees have participated in the program. The recognition bestowed by the Office of the President states, “Her work stands for two things: personal commitment and social responsibility on the part of German companies.”
“I’m very happy,” said Ines Doberanzke- Milnikel after the ceremony. “I accept the award on behalf of all trainees and my colleagues committed to memorial work and international encounters, as well as to respect, tolerance, and openness to the world – in the Volkswagen Group, on the International Auschwitz Committee, and at the International Youth Meeting Center.”
"Litti" Visits Trainees
Pierre Littbarski surprised 70 mechatronics trainees at the Wolfsburg plant. The 1990 soccer world champion’s appearance was a special distinction for the best trainees of all four years of training.
The former head scout for VfL Wolfsburg spoke mainly about his career on the field. His message: success only works when you work as a team. “Litti” drew parallels between soccer and the job at the plant. “I wasn’t the strongest player, or the fastest. But with my strengths, I was able to bring the team forward. Find your place on the team!” he called out to the junior staff. The message was received. “The workshop was totally motivating,” said Anna-Ida Heuer. Instructor Stefan Kutz said, “On the field and in the factory, the same principle applies: I only win as a team. Pierre Littbarski did a great job conveying that.”
Employees Make Wishes Come True
What could be more valuable to give at Christmas than time? Volkswagen employees can now give part of their free time as a gift to charitable organizations from the region to fulfill people’s Christmas wishes, as part of the VW Christmas Tree Wish Campaign. This is how it works: the 35 submitted wishes can be viewed in the Volkswagen portal under “Me at VW -> Getting involved -> Volkswagen voluntary work.”. Anyone who wants to fulfill a wish can report to the “pro Ehrenamt” (voluntary work) employees, who are now organizing this campaign for the twelfth time, either by email at ehrenamt@Volkswagen.de or by telephone at 05361/913096.
The wishes are just as varied as the people and institutions in the region. If you like, you can help on a blood donation day in Gifhorn for example, set up a barefoot path at the DRK Ettenbüttel day nursery, or make Christmas decorations with the children at the Wolfsburg Hospice.
“The Christmas Tree Wish Campaign enables our employees to bring joy to the people in their region. They don’t fulfill the wishes with money, they give something far more valuable – part of their free time. I’m grateful to everyone already for this voluntary work,” said Ralf Thomas, head of the “pro Ehrenamt” organization team.
“By fulfilling these wishes we want to give something back to the clubs, associations, and charitable organizations and facilities who do so much for our society and our public welfare in the Wolfsburg region and surrounding areas,” said “pro Ehrenamt” employee, Markus Brack. “There are many people in our neighborhood who could really do with our help. I offer my thanks to all colleagues who are doing things to help others and fulfilling a wish for a good cause,” said Daniela Cavallo, member of the Works Council.
Since 2012, 150 wishes have already been fulfilled by Volkswagen employees. These wishes can be fulfilled alone or in groups. The wishes come from institutions in Wolfsburg, Braunschweig, Salzgitter and the Gifhorn district.
Interview with Larry D. Thompson
What does the Volkswagen workforce think about culture change and the integrity program?
Larry D. Thompson, the U.S. Monitor, wants to know. From November 27, an online survey of employees will be administered by the Ethics and Compliance Initiative (ECI), global thought leaders in the field of integrity and compliance programs, supported by the Members of the Board of Volkswagen AG and the works council. The survey focuses on the opinions of employees regarding integrity at their workplace. The survey results will help the U.S. Monitor identify key strengths and areas of improvement regarding culture and integrity in the Volkswagen Group.
Only a random, representative sample of employees from Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, Volkswagen Group of America, Volkswagen de Mexico, and Audi de Mexico will be initially invited to participate in the survey. Selected Employees will receive an e-mail from ECI directly. It will inform about the survey, including access data and a link to the survey. Employees without own e-mail-address will receive a letter which includes all necessary information about participating in the survey.
As for the process of the survey, you should know two things:
1. Participation is voluntary and confidential. The employees are invited, but not required to participate.
2. All responses to the survey will be anonymous.
Mr. Thompson why the survey now?
We are now over a year into the Monitorship and it is important that we have a realistic view of how employees feel about the company. Specifically, it is an excellent time now to see how Volkswagen employees feel about the culture of the company given that many changes have occurred in the past few years.
What exactly will happen with the responses by the employees?
We have a third party, ECI, conducting the survey. Responses to the survey will be confidential and all data collected will be secure and in accordance with all applicable data privacy laws. I believe this survey will give employees a voice; a way to directly inform me about their views on integrity and culture. ECI will tabulate and analyze the results of the survey in confidence. The results will be used by me and by my team in an effort to examine the culture at Volkswagen.
Why is the monitor interested in what the employees at Volkswagen think?
I am very interested in what Volkswagen employees think for a number of reasons. First, the employees know the company best. Their thoughts and insights are extremely valuable to me. Additionally, we recognize that meaningful change cannot come to Volkswagen without the full support and acceptance of Volkswagen’s employees. We have a shared goal with the Company to make Volkswagen a better company.
Getting Through the Winter Without the Sniffles
There’s sniffling and sneezing in every corner again: with the uncomfortable, wet and cold winter weather, also come the first colds. “With a few simple measures, you can protect yourself well against viruses and bacteria,” says Dr. Lars Nachbar, Head of Group Healthcare and Safety. Don’t worry about being considered rude if you don’t shake hands with your sniffly colleagues, says Nachbar. Quite the contrary.: “The pathogens will continue to spread unhindered through the shaking of hands,” the physician warns. People should therefore “give one another a friendly and completely virus-free smile” instead. And what if, despite all caution, it ends up getting you? “Then the right diet can also help alleviate the symptoms.”
The doctor reveals what you should put on your plate and what you can do to clear your nose in the ten tips for colds below.
- It’s best to avoid shaking hands, as it can pass on numerous pathogens.
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, then apply lotion carefully. It’s best not to touch your face or food with your hands before washing them.
- Drink enough fluids: tea, for example, not only keeps the body warm from the inside, but also prevents the mucous membranes from drying out and losing their protective function against pathogens.
- Even though it’s cold out, don’t keep your heat on at the highest level on an ongoing basis. The hot air makes for dry mucous membranes. Then the moist, protective shield in the nose, which ideally should intercept viruses, will no longer function properly. A sea salt nasal spray from over the counter can help. It’s natural and will protect against dryness. Important: ventilate rooms sufficiently, preferably at least three times a day for ten minutes. This reduces the concentration of viruses in the air, and thus the risk of infection.
- Get some exercise in the fresh air as often as possible. Bundle up against the cold and take a long walk at least twice a week. Even daily, moderate endurance sports (about 30 minutes) can increase your immune defense. Important: take special care to protect your head against the cold.
- Boost your immune system. A balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables supports both the prevention and treatment of colds. However, research has shown that vitamin C has no preventive effect, it only helps to alleviate cold symptoms.
- Starting the day with hot and cold contrast showers is good for the immune system. Tip: regular trips to the sauna can also boost the immune system.
- Get enough sleep and avoid stress: Stress and too little sleep are poison for the immune system.
- When coughing and sneezing, keep as far away as possible from other people and don’t cough into your hand, but rather into a handkerchief or the crook of your arm. Viruses and bacteria are also spread by droplet infection, i.e. they are sprayed in tiny droplets when coughing and sneezing.
- In the worst-case scenario, these proven household remedies can also help: potato poultices against coughs and hot milk with honey against sore throat – what mothers and grandmothers have successfully used to treat colds are still valid remedies today. In the event of a high fever, persistent symptoms, or even breathing difficulties and ear pain, please consult a doctor to clarify the causes.
New Tarok Pick-Up in Brazil
World premiere at South America’s largest motor show: Volkswagen presents the compact study Tarok at the São Paulo International Motor Show (November 6 to 18). The all-wheel drive all-rounder of the five-meter class combines the features of a latest generation, digitally networked SUV with the versatility of a pick-up. The Tarok especially proves its versatility in the loading area. If you want to transport a ladder or other long objects, you can easily fold the lower part of the back wall of the crew cab inwards and gain more than half a meter of storage space. You can load up to one ton of weight.
The striking eye-catchers of the Tarok are the Targa-look roof bars, the LED lighting strip at the rear, and the four-door double cabin. The Tarok comes with two 110 kW/150 bhp engines, a 2.0-liter TDI, and a 1.4-liter TSI. The four-cylinder engine can be operated with ethanol or with a gasoline-ethanol mixture. The TSI in the Tarok is combined with a 6-speed automatic transmission and 4Motion permanent four-wheel drive.
Names & News
Scott Keogh will become President and CEO of the Volkswagen Group of America, as well as CEO for the North American region of the Volkswagen brand. Keogh joined Audi of America as Chief Marketing Officer in 2006, and become President of Audi of America in 2012.
For the Fuel Cell of the Future
Volkswagen and Stanford University have developed a new catalytic converter technology. The innovation primarily involves platinum, a precious metal which is needed as a catalyst for operating the fuel cell. In the new process, platinum atoms are placed on a carbon surface to generate extremely thin particles. This method reduces the amount of expensive platinum used to a fraction of the amount currently needed. It also increases the catalytic converter’s efficiency threefold and lengthens its lifespan. With this new catalytic technology, the fuel cell would become a real alternative to electric battery drive systems and combustion engines. The researchers’ task is now to translate the results obtained in the laboratory to large-scale industrial production.
Super-Team – 100,000th Atlas
Employees at the US plant in Chattanooga are celebrating a very special milestone. In early October, the 100,000th Atlas rolled off the production line at the plant.The anniversary SUV in Pacific Blue has a 3.6-liter VR6 engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. “Our objective for the Atlas was to build an SUV in America for America. The success of the Atlas shows America’s approval,” says Plant Manager Antonio Pinto. He remarked that the first milestone of the 100,000th Atlas model would be followed by further records. He gave a special thanks to the team, saying, “None of this would have been possible without the world-class team here in Chattanooga.” Production began in Chattanooga in April 2011. Around 3,500 employees are building the Passat and the Atlas there today.
Names & News
Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler will become Head of Technical Development at Audi AG on November 1, 2018. The Head of Quality Management at the Volkswagen Group will take over the role from Peter Mertens. Mertens had requested that the Audi supervisory board release him from his duties for health reasons. Rothenpieler has a degree in mechanical engineering and has worked for the Volkswagen Group since 1986. In 2007, he took over responsibility for quality assurance for the Volkswagen brand, and has been Head of Development for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles since 2014. Rothenpieler has been in charge of quality management at the Volkswagen Group since 2016.
Super Safe – The Touareg
Five stars for the Touareg¹: the crash test experts from Euro NCAP have awarded the luxury SUV top marks. It's the highest possible rating. The Touareg is a safe choice. The SUV’s safety package passed the sophisticated test of the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) by the Brussels-based consumer protection organization with flying colors. This includes the seatbelt, seat and airbag system and the innovative assistance systems. The Touareg got top marks in four categories: passenger safety for adults, passenger safety for children, assistance systems and pedestrian safety. This makes the Touareg one of the safest cars in Europe.
¹Touareg V6 TDI 4MOTION, 210 kW / Fuel consumption in l/100 km: combined 6,6; CO₂-Emission in g/km: 173 (combined), efficiency class: B.
"Think Digital" at IZB in Allerpark
Even years are IZB years: the tenth International Suppliers Fair (IZB) organized by Wolfsburg AG will be taking place from October 16 to 18, 2018, in Wolfsburg’s Allerpark, and this year’s focus is "Think Digital." The exhibition space has been fully booked and the majority of the companies attending are involved in the field of electrics or electronics, making them more than familiar with one of the main topics of this year’s IZB. The IZB Conference has been kicking off the international industry get-together on the day before the official opening of the trade fair since 2008.
On Monday, October 15, speakers including Marco Philippi, Head of Strategy & Procurement at Volkswagen AG, will be discussing trends within the automotive sector as part of a specialist event on the "Digital Car Revolution." The key focal points of the event are set to include e-mobility, digitalization and fully autonomous driving.
"6xSally" at the Plant Forum
Vienna, Jerusalem, Warsaw – and now at the corporate archives forum at the Wolfsburg plant: visitors to the forum can see the video installation, entitled "6xSally: Perspectives and Identities – A Synoptic Portrait of ‘Hitler Youth Solomon’," from September 13 to November 9.
At the heart of the installation is Sally Perel, born in Peine. He survived the Nazi dictatorship with a hidden identity, and even used one to work in the former Volkswagen plant in Braunschweig as an apprentice. The 93-year-old witness to this period of modern history tells the moving story of his life for this multi-channel video installation, called "6xSally." Perel, who now lives in Israel, says, "It’s really something special for me to create something artistic in the middle of an automotive factory and that so many people working here would be interested in it."
Exciting Plant Tour for Star Athletes
The new additions to the Bundesliga soccer clubs VfL Wolfsburg, the VfL women’s team and the EHC Wolfsburg ice hockey team recently visited the main Volkswagen plant and were very impressed. After having lunch together at "Oasis," the company restaurant, the one-hour plant tour kicked off from the press shop, taking the visitors through to framing and the body shop to the "high point" in the Golf’s final assembly process in Hall 54. VfL coach Bruno Labbadia clearly enjoyed himself. "It was good for all of us to get a feeling of how the employees work together as a team to build the Golf, Touran and Tiguan," he said.
His players also came away from the plant tour with some lasting impressions. Midfielder Admir Mehmedi said, "It’s impressive to see that so many models are built to such a high quality standard in this huge factory. It’s a real team effort." Anna-Lena Stolze, striker for the formidable VfL women’s team, summed up the occasion by saying, "We were able to get a really good look at the entire production process. I was particularly fascinated by the machines and robots." EHC Managing Director Karl-Heinz Fliegauf added, "This visit was a great opportunity for the team to expand upon the already close relationship between Volkswagen and the Wolfsburg Grizzlys."
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