Six start-ups in Dresden
The first of the start-ups soon to spend six months in the Transparent Factory in Dresden have now been selected. They come from all over Germany and, from the summer on, will be working with expert support on developing their mobility-related ideas to make them competitive on the market. “We’re impressed by the huge innovative power of these new businesses,” says Site Manager Lars Dittert. The start-up incubator at the Transparent Factory is aimed at students and scientists wanting to found a start-up. A jury chose the six teams which will now be receiving support.
Volkswagen history on 52 wheels
Visitors to the Bratislava Transport Museum can take an exciting journey back through the history of Volkswagen Slovakia. This exhibition, which opened in May, features 13 historical and special vehicles that the company has produced since it was founded in 1991.
The displays include the very first car ever to leave the Volkswagen production line at the Bratislava plant: a white Passat Variant B3. One really eye-catching exhibit is the bright yellow Volkswagen Háčik. This concept car was built in Bratislava in 1996 on the plant’s own initiative, and never entered series production. Visitors can also admire a blue Touareg which was once used as a service car in the legendary Dakar Rally. Along with their most recent pay slip, the approximately 12,300 employees of Volkswagen Slovakia received an invitation to visit the exhibition. The museum is a good place to experience automotive history at first hand.
Clinic on wheels
Volkswagen India helps people who live in the immediate vicinity of its plant in Pune. The company has been running a mobile medical service for two villages for around two years. The service has now provided its 15,000th treatment to patients. The clinic on wheels makes basic medical care available to the approximately 2,200 inhabitants of Sangurdi and Kahnewadi Tarfe Chakan as well as their guests. Two doctors and a nurse treat patients free of charge. And the patients don’t have to pay for any medicine they receive.
Students test their race cars
Preparations are underway: University teams from all over the world are developing their own race cars to enter the Formula Student race at the Hockenheimring, Germany in August. The Volkswagen brand has been a partner of this design competition for many years and
sponsors some of the teams. These teams recently had the opportunity to test their vehicles at the Volkswagen testing ground in Ehra. Stefan Gries, Head of Chassis Development at the Volkswagen brand, says: “We can’t wait to see how the race cars stand up to the competition.”
Most innovative volume brand
The Center of Automotive Management (CAM) has awarded Volkswagen the distinction of “most innovative volume brand.” The company also won prizes for the most innovative brand in the categories “interface & networking” and “autonomous driving & safety.” This means Volkswagen has successfully defended the position that it held last year. The CAM is a German scientific institute for car and mobility research and, in cooperation with the management consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers, awards prizes to the most innovative manufacturers.
Poll postponed to end of year
As of 2017, employees will be able to answer the mood barometer questions only towards the end of the year. The period for the next survey is from October 23 to November 19. Why does this postponement make sense? At this time of the year it is easier to look back in a more focussed way while asking yourself the question: What went well, and what can be improved? Until then, the review phase of the 2016 mood barometer continues, with measures being scrutinized – and adapted if necessary – and discussions about the next steps in progress.
Award for the Tiguan
The Tiguan continues its success story, with a second-place finish in the 2017 “World Car of the Year” contest. Seventy-five automotive journalists from around the world once again cast their votes for the best new cars this year. First place was taken by the Jaguar F-Pace.
Tiguan: Fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7.8 to 4.7 (combined), CO2 emissions in g/km: 180 to 123 (combined), efficiency class: D to A
Dresden makes the e-Golf
After six months of conversion work on the Transparent Factory, the first e-Golf has now rolled from the production line. “The Age of electric mobility is dawning for Volkswagen in Dresden,” says Lars Dittert (43), the new Site Director. After studying industrial engineering in Dresden, Dittert worked for Audi and Škoda and most recently was in charge of controlling for Volkswagen Sachsen. After the start-up phase, some 250 to 300 employees will make 35 electric vehicles a day in single-shift operation as of May. Apart from at the Transparent Factory, the e-Golf is also produced in Wolfsburg.
e-Golf: Power consumption in kWh/100km: 12.7 (combined), CO₂ emissions in g/km: 0 (combined), efficiency class: A+
World record at Osnabrück plant
Volkswagen’s plant in Osnabrück was the site of an unusual world record in early April. Some 2,648 cyclists, including numerous Volkswagen employees, produced enough energy in 24 hours by pedalling stationary bikes to allow an e-up! to drive 130.7 kilometers. This surpassed the previous world record set in 2015 by more than 10 kilometers.
No calm before the storm
Spectacular construction project at the Wolfsburg site enters the home straight. The Wind Tunnel Efficiency Center is due for completion in the fall. This facility will be used to test how the aerodynamics and efficiency of Volkswagen models can be further enhanced. The Thermo Function Tunnel, for example, can simulate a wide range of environmental and climate conditions, including wind speeds of up to 250 km/h, and temperatures ranging from minus 30 to plus 60 degrees Celsius.
Safe, safer, Golf
It’s the safest car in Brazil. The Golf, which is built at the Curitiba site, has received five stars in the Latin NCAP (New Car Assessment Program). This vehicle safety test for Latin America and the Caribbean, which has been in place since 2010, assesses new cars in a variety of crash tests. The Golf received particularly high scores for its protection of both adults and children. The Golf made in Brazil is built by around 2,700 employees at the site in São José dos Pinhais in the Curitiba metropolitan region, around 420 kilometers from São Paulo.
Strong literacy skills
Volkswagen has opened its first literacy center in Uitenhage, home of its South African plant. The center looks to support students, teachers, and parents in making sure that all girls and boys can read and write to an intelligible standard and at a reasonable speed by the end of third grade. Achieving this for all children is an ambitious goal in South Africa, even 23 years after the end of apartheid, a period during which large parts of the black majority had been denied high-quality education. “At Volkswagen we strive to attain real changes in our home community. That is why we support early childhood development and are so committed to the literacy program,” says Thomas Schäfer, the head of Volkswagen South Africa.
More transparency on the job market
The “internal job market” is to be launched on the Volkswagen portal in mid-April. It will list all the vacancies covered by collective labor agreements at the German sites of the Volkswagen brand. Employees can narrow down their searches in the online system to only those areas and sites that interest them. They can also receive email notifications when new positions that meet their interests open up. A second stage, which is expected to begin in early June, will make it possible for them to apply for positions online.
From the foundation to the roof
Volkswagen employees in the United States have been working with the Habitat for Humanity aid organization to build a house for a family of six. Volunteers in the town of Warrenton, Virginia constructed every last thing, from the foundation to the roof, in only two days.
“We are proud of our employees. They have donated their time, their expertise, and their skills to help a family in need,” says Hinrich Woebcken, CEO of the North American Region. “Our employees are invaluable to the company,” he continued. “We are grateful that such a great number of them also support the communities in which they live and work.”
Paul Linz, who directs the aid organization, praised the efforts. “This project was successful thanks only to the willingness of the Volkswagen Group of America to give its people time off work and provide financial support. We will now be able to build more homes for low-income families.”
Volkswagen in America encourages volunteer community work by its employees. It supports volunteer workers year round as part of its campaign Get involved.
One region, 49 countries
Volkswagen has founded the Sub-Saharan Region to strengthen its African market.
The Volkswagen brand is forging ahead with its regionalization strategy by founding the Sub-Saharan Region at the start of the month. This is now the fourth region, following North America, Central and South America, and China. The idea is to further develop and strengthen the African market. The Sub-Saharan Region comprises 49 of the countries south of the Sahara Desert. “The region offers enormous potential to meet the mobility needs of a growing middle class,” says Thomas Schäfer, who is in charge of the newly founded region in addition to his duties as head of Volkswagen South Africa.Schäfer announced that the company “would work together with African governments to promote the development of these new markets.” The Volkswagen brand is already represented at three locations in the Sub-Saharan Region. Volkswagen has been producing cars in South Africa since 1951. Vehicle assembly began in Nigeria in 2015, and in Kenya in December of 2016.
Infineon becomes new partner
The Volkswagen brand is ensuring its vehicles are equipped with future innovations. Its first partner in this is Infineon Technologies, a leading chip manufacturer. The two companies hope to break new ground with joint development projects.
Background to the partnership: A modern car is equipped with networks containing up to a hundred control units and thousands of electronic components. Control units form the basis for comfort and safety, looking after things like the air conditioning system, interior and exterior lights, sensors for distance monitors, and assistance systems. “By working together to create future tools, such as virtual prototyping, we can reduce our development times even further, and this despite the fact that systems are increasingly complex,” says Volkmar Tanneberger, Head of Electrical and Electronic Development at Volkswagen. inside will shed further light on this subject in its next few issues. The speed of development in the field of electronics and the ever shorter innovation cycles means that strong partnerships throughout the development process are necessary to ensure the systems used are both sophisticated and reliable.
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