Please note that, from May onwards, this page will no longer be updated. A PDF of the Volkswagen Group employee magazine will be available in the Volkswagen Newsroom under Press Service – Publications.
Internal Communications for the Volkswagen Group and Brand
Matthias Rabe (56) has managed the newly created TD Operations department in Technical Development since March. In addition to technical project management, he is responsible for all vehicle projects, including the operational management of development.
The native Rhinelander joined the Volkswagen Group after completing his studies in mechanical engineering in Aachen in 1988 and has held various management roles. In 1992, he transferred to Shanghai Volkswagen, where he was responsible for the development of vehicles and electronics. In 2003, he became head of Group Research at Volkswagen AG. From 2007 to 2011, he was in charge of assembly development for the Volkswagen brand. In January 2011, Rabe transferred to Seat, where he was Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development.
Andreas Klar (55) officially became head of Group Quality Management in March. He has been responsible for the brand’s quality assurance since 2017 and is now taking on both management functions. Klar has been at Volkswagen for 31 years. He has gained extensive experience during this time in planning, assembly and industrial engineering. Klar has worked during this time as Technical Director in Hanover, Wolfsburg and Kaluga (Russia).
Volkswagen to Print in Black and White
In April, Volkswagen will start printing in black and white. The reason: in 2018, almost half of all 140 million print jobs at the Wolfsburg, Kassel, Salzgitter, Emden, Braunschweig and Hanover plants were in color. That’s almost 70 million pages of color printouts – well above the industry average.
After a decision by the Executive Board, the switch to black and white printing will initially begin at the six plants in western Germany. “Let’s Go Black” is the name of the accompanying campaign by the Digital Workspaces department. “Sustainability starts at the printer,” says Gilberto Rodrigues de Moura. He and his team are overseeing the switch to black and white. “It’s good that we are taking consistent action and making the change now,” says Rodrigues de Moura. Departments may continue to print in color only in exceptional cases where it is justified. Interested employees should contact their cost center manager directly.
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MOIA Launches in Hamburg
After successfully concluding a three-month test phase, the Volkswagen subsidiary Moia is launching public operations in Hamburg on April 15.
This will be developed into Europe’s biggest fully electric ride-sharing service within twelve months. Every Hamburg citizen, commuter, or visitor can register for the service now. As part of the launch, Moia is giving away vouchers for free rides. The first 5,000 people to download the Moia app, register, and activate the MOINMOIA voucher code in the app before April 14 will get a free ride.
Hamburg is a global flagship project for Moia. “It is the first city with a population over 1 million in which we are bringing our innovative service for an environmentally friendly, shared mobility onto the roads,” says Moia boss Ole Harms. “We are developing and perfecting our system in Hamburg, from where we will then expand it to the rest of the world.” Moia has covered more than 20,000 kilometers since January as part of the test phase. A fleet of 100 fully electric Moia vehicles will be introduced at the launch in April, which will serve an area of 200 square kilometers that includes Hamburg airport. Moia sees itself as part of the urban mobility offering and as a useful supplement to public transport.
IdeenExpo: Volkswagen Will Be There
Volkswagen will make an appearance with a large stand at the IdeenExpo in Hanover from June 15 to 23. As a partner of the event, the company will present its technical apprenticeships to young people.
“We are proud to present our company at such a popular fair. Our goal is to inspire young adults to go into technical careers in our company. Our many exhibits will show that technology is exciting and fun,” says Markus Krause, project manager for the company’s appearance at the IdeenExpo.
In line with the IdeenExpo’s slogan, “Just do it,” Volkswagen is making participation the central focus of its activities. “We want to give visitors a simple and playful entry point into complex topics like digitalization of mobility and production,” explains Ralph Linde, Head of the Volkswagen Group Academy. “We are all about making, soldering and tinkering. For example, we will be making little robots or electrically powered and partially autonomous model cars, which visitors are welcome to take home with them.” Apprentices from the Wolfsburg, Hanover and Salzgitter plants are currently in the process of making exhibits specially for the youth fair.
Golf Variant TGI Available to Order Now
Volkswagen’s natural gas strategy continues to gain ground: recently available to order, the Polo TGI¹ and the Golf TGI² are now joined by the Golf Variant TGI³ with an eco-friendly natural gas engine. The new model has three natural gas tanks – instead of just two previously. This further improves the long range of the CNG engines. And there’s no need to compromise on space to accommodate the three tanks on-board, as the natural gas tanks are integrated as a space-saving underfloor solution. At the same time, the additional tank increases the range in natural gas mode by up to 80 kilometers compared to its predecessor. That makes it possible to travel up to 440 kilometers (according to WLTP) in the natural-gas-only mode. You’ll now also reach your destination faster, as the hood conceals an overhauled, powerful 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine with 96 kW (130 bhp).
¹ Polo TGI fuel consumption natural gas (CNG) in kg/100 km: urban 4.4–4.1 / extra-urban 2.9–2.7 / combined 3.4–3.2; CO₂ emissions in g/km: 93–88; efficiency class: A+.
² Golf TGI fuel consumption natural gas (CNG) in kg/100 km: urban 4.7–4.5 / extra-urban 2.9 / combined 3.6–3.5; CO₂ emissions in g/km: 98–95; efficiency class: A.
³ Golf Variant TGI 1.5 TGI fuel consumption natural gas (CNG) in kg/100 km: urban 4.7 / extra-urban 3.0 / combined 3.6; CO₂ emissions in g/km: 99; efficiency class: A+.
Test Program for ID. R is Successfully Launched
On the Circuito de Almería in Andalusia, the preparatory stage for the world record attempt on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in the fully electric ID. R has begun. Driver Romain Dumas completed the first test drives in Spain. In the summer, he wants to beat the current best time for electric vehicles (6:45.900 minutes) on the 20.832-kilometer racetrack in the Eifel.
“After the functional tests in Oschersleben, the first test drives in Spain also went to plan,” says Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets. “It is very exciting to experience the ID. R on a real racetrack after its record-breaking performance at Pikes Peak. Optimizing an electric sportscar for the Nürburgring is a great new challenge for our entire team. We are all looking forward to testing the power of electromobility on the legendary Nordschleife.” The ID. R is the sporty forerunner of the new ID. product family, with which Volkswagen will offer a wide range of fully electric vehicles from 2020 onwards.
The focus of the four-day test drives in Spain was the adaptation of the software that controls the balance between the mechanical brake and recuperation on-board the ID. R. “On a secure racetrack like the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, you can get much closer to the limit than during the hill climb at Pikes Peak,” says Romain Dumas, describing the differences. “I can brake harder and accelerate more aggressively. Adapting the software will fine-tune the performance of the electric motors for our new record attempt.”
2018 Was a Successful Year for the Group
The Volkswagen Group had a successful 2018. Sales increased by €6.3 billion to €235.8 billion, while operating profit before special items was €17.1 (17.0) billion, on a par with the previous year. At 7.3 percent (7.4 percent), the operating return on sales before special items was at the upper end of the target range. Operating profit amounted to €13.9 (13.8) billion and, as in the previous year, was negatively impacted by special items of €3.2 (3.2) billion relating to the diesel crisis. Net liquidity in the Automotive division remained solid at €19.4 (22.4) billion. The sustained positive development of operating profits was driven by a slight increase in the number of vehicles delivered – up 0.9 percent to 10.8 million vehicles worldwide. A new record for us.
Group CEO Herbert Diess: “We did well in 2018, especially against the backdrop of the WLTP changeover, which led to considerable distortions in our sales development. The headwind in certain important markets will probably be even tougher in 2019. Our e-offensive will take off with new models. Overall, however, considerable effort will be necessary to achieve our ambitious goals in the new financial year.”
Jörg Müller (56) previously the Head of Production and Logistics in the Volkswagen Group China in Beijing, took over the management of the Osnabrück site on March 1. He followed Ulrich Riestenpatt gt. Richter as Management Spokesperson and Managing Director of Technology, who has headed Volkswagen Osnabrück GmbH since 2016 and will be available to Volkswagen AG in an advisory capacity until the end of the year. Jörg Müller holds a degree in electrical engineering and has worked for the Group for 29 years. From 2002, his responsible functions included plant management in Braunschweig, from 2005 onwards, Operations Director at Volkswagen do Brasil, from 2007 onwards, Group Representative, and then Head of Volkswagen in India, before moving to the Volkswagen Group China in 2013. His last position there was Vice President of Production and Logistics.
Andrea Morgan-Schönwetter (43) has been head of the newly created Recruiting and HR Marketing department in Wolfsburg since the beginning of the year. Prior to this, she worked for Deutsche Telekom for 18 years in various positions in personnel marketing and recruiting. The graduate in business administration already set up a central recruiting center at Deutsche Telekom. Morgan-Schönwetter is responsible for the Group and brand, and reports directly to Chief Human Resources Officer Gunnar Kilian. In a pilot project, she will initially push the recruitment of software developers and IT experts.
Modular E-Toolkit To Be Made Available to Third-Party Providers
The Volkswagen Group will be making its modular electrification toolkit (MEB) available to other manufacturers. Ensuring the broadest possible distribution of the MEB and the associated economies of scale will greatly reduce the costs of e-mobility. This will make individual mobility affordable and usable for many people in the future. Volkswagen has projected that some 15 million purely electric vehicles will be produced using the MEB in the first phase. The world’s first partner company outside the Group to use the modular electrification toolkit will be Aachen-based company e.GO Mobile AG, which will use the MEB to bring electric cars beyond the models offered by Volkswagen to the market.
Group CEO Herbert Diess says, “We’ve proven with our modular transverse toolkit that we are platform experts. More than 100 million of our vehicles are based on this platform. With the MEB platform, we will be rocketing this successful concept into the electric age and working with third-party providers. The aim is to establish the MEB as the gold standard for e-mobility. We want to use it to lay the foundations for CO2-neutral, safe, and comfortable individual mobility available to as many people as possible.” Even emotionally-charged limited series vehicles like the ID. Buggy can be easily and cost-effectively produced using the MEB. Diess says, “I’m pleased that e.GO will be the first partner to use our modular electrification toolkit as the basis for a vehicle project we will work on together.”
The trade-in bonus is valid nationwide until April 30
The Volkswagen brand is expanding its trade-in bonus for replacing older diesel vehicles by April 30 to all of Germany. It is offered for Euro 4 and Euro 5 diesel vehicles from any manufacturer during a trade-in – in addition to the value of the used vehicle.
The trade-in bonus for new cars is between 500 and 7,000 euros, depending on the model. Sales Director Jürgen Stackmann: “This underlines our ongoing commitment to improving air quality and avoiding driving bans in German cities.”
The environmental premium offered when scrapping a Euro 1 to Euro 4 diesel vehicle continues to apply nationwide until otherwise stated.
More information on the trade-in bonus is available from the free hotline (05361) 83 89 99 60, on volkswagen.de and from participating Volkswagen partners.
Celebration: Five-millionth Tiguan¹ Built in Wolfsburg
At the start of the new year, Volkswagen celebrated its latest production milestone as the five-millionth Tiguan left the production line in the Wolfsburg plant.
“Our team’s knowledge and expertise, our amazing team spirit, and the enthusiasm we inject into making our Volkswagen models are the basis for this magnificent success, and a strong foundation for our SUV strategy,” explains Head of Production Andreas Tostmann.
Works Council Chair Bernd Osterloh added, “The Tiguan guarantees ten thousand jobs for highly qualified colleagues around the world and makes a significant contribution to profits. This is why it is important that we don’t cut costs in the development and production of the Tiguan, so that we can continue to impress our customers with this exciting car in the future.”
Looking back, production of the Tiguan started in 2007 in the Wolfsburg plant. In the first full production year of 2008, more than 120,000 cars came off the production line. From there, Volkswagen continued its steady climb as it distributed more than half a million Tiguan cars around the world in 2015.
A year later, Volkswagen introduced the second generation of the compact SUV. It was the first Volkswagen SUV based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB). 2017 saw the launch of the more spacious Tiguan Allspace, which is longer by almost 22 centimeters and also available as a seven-seater.
The new generation and the extension of the range to include the Tiguan Allspace provided a positive boost: In 2017, Volkswagen sold more than 700,000 Tiguans and almost 800,000 in 2018.
¹Tiguan: Fuel consumption in l/100 km: combined 7,7–4,8; CO₂ emissions in g/km: combined 175–125; efficiency classes: D–A
Volkswagen Offers Eco-Energy
The Volkswagen Group is also entering the electricity market: With immediate effect, customers can purchase climate-friendly natural electricity, and later, other attractive charging solutions for their electric cars via the newly established subsidiary, Elli Group. Elli stands for Electric Life.
Thorsten Nicklass is responsible for the company’s green energy and smart charging services. “Our goal is for our customers to be able to charge their electric cars just as easily as their smartphones,” says the designated boss at Elli. He knows from numerous surveys that many car drivers are hesitant to switch to an electric car because they are afraid of not having enough charging opportunities. Nicklass: “We’re stepping up to relieve them of this worry.”
The first product on offer from Elli in Germany is the CO₂-neutral Volkswagen Naturstrom®. It is sourced from 100 percent solar, wind, and hydropower. “Climate protection is one of our crucial motivations. We need to act now, for the sake of our descendants,” says Nicklass. Moreover, all Elli employees will be hitting the road electrically in the future. “Electric cars are a must for us,” the CEO emphasizes.
The next offer Elli has planned: the “Volks-Wallboxes” for the launch of the ID. family. The wallbox for garages or carports can charge ID. and other model batteries overnight, at up to eleven kilowatts. Most drivers of an ID. will probably only use the charging station outside their own front door once a week, as the majority of commuters do not travel more than 50 kilometers per day.
Those who want to charge their ID. on the road instead of at home will be able to do so in the future using Elli electric fuel cards. Charging will be available at roughly 80,000 stations in Europe, in front of supermarkets, furniture stores, or at Volkswagen retailers. Some already exist. An app helps drivers find the nearest charging station.
Bram Schot (57) has been a member of the Group Executive Board since the beginning of the year, and is responsible for Group Sales. Previously, he had been appointed as CEO of Audi. Schot has thus succeeded Rupert Stadler, who left the Group in October. Schot was the Executive Board Member for Sales and Marketing at Audi since September 2017. He also temporarily assumed the duties of Chairman of the Executive Board of the Ingolstadt subsidiary in mid-June of last year. Before joining Audi, the native Dutchman was responsible for sales and marketing on the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Executive Board since 2012. He moved to the Volkswagen Group in 2011, as then-President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Italy. There, he initially supervised strategic projects in Group Sales.
Alexander Hitzinger (47), previously Senior Director of Hardware Engineering at Apple, is the new Executive Board Member for Technical Development at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. In addition, he will be responsible for setting up and managing the “Center for Autonomous Driving and MaaS Activities” within the Volkswagen Group. MaaS stands for “Mobility as a Service”. Hitzinger’s professional career began in 1997, as a development engineer at Toyota-Motorsport in Germany. Later, he headed the Formula 1 Development department at the English engine manufacturer, Cosworth, and was responsible , for the development of the long-distance racing car “919 hybrid” as technical director at Porsche. Hitzinger has advanced degrees in engineering and business administration.
Thomas Zahn (51), most recently Head of Sales and Marketing Germany of Volkswagen AG for six years, has been President and CEO of the Volkswagen Group Argentina since February. Holger Santel already took over Zahn’s previous role in November. Zahn is a forwarding merchant and industrial engineer, and joined Volkswagen in 1997. He headed central sales functions at Volkswagen in Wolfsburg, and was Head of Sales for the two Volkswagen joint-ventures in China. In Argentina, he has replaced Hernan Pablo Vazquez Santa Cruz (55), who will be assuming other tasks within the Group. Santa Cruz joined the Volkswagen Group at Seat in 1987.
Ralf Sacht (55) has headed toolmaking for the Volkswagen brand in Wolfsburg since the beginning of the year. Prior to this, he spent three years as Chairman and Chief Technology Officer of Volkswagen Slovakia in Bratislava. Sacht is a qualified foreman in metalworking and has worked at Volkswagen for 34 years. Among other things, he held the position of Head of the Pilot Hall of Volkswagen Slovakia from 2004, Head of Group Start-Up Control from 2005, Head of Brand Pilot Halls in Personal Union from 2007, and Head of Pre-Series Center in Personal Union from 2010.
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.
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