New Division HUX
Volkswagen is steadily preparing itself to become the most customer-orientated mobility provider. That's why the brand is establishing the new Holistic User Experience (HUX) division, under the management of Matthias Erb. In his new role, Erb will report directly to the CEO of the Volkswagen brand, Herbert Diess.
The number of contact points between Volkswagen and its customers will continue to rise in the next few years. These "touch points" occur inside the car, around the car and online using apps and websites. In future, Volkswagen will offer customers a holistic user experience that will be one of the best and most exciting on the market when it comes to interacting with and around the vehicle.
The HUX division will manage the interplay of technical development, design, series and sales to ensure the smooth integration of the vehicle into the digital world, among other things. The guiding principle will be the intuitive operability (usability) and the integration of a continuously expanding range of functions, such as infotainment, and digital added value and mobility services. One of the core activities of the division will be to create a distinctive, uniform brand appearance at all "touch points", while the digital ecosystem connecting the brand to its customers continues to grow.
Initially, the Holistic User Experience team will focus on the I.D. series, the new generation of electric cars based on the modular electric drive toolkit (MEB). The scope of its activities will be gradually expanded to the entire model portfolio.
Matthias Erb, who has a doctorate in engineering, was appointed Chief Engineering Officer for the Volkswagen Group of America in April 2016. Since then, he has been responsible for all development activities as well as production strategy in the North American region. From 2014, he was previously responsible for the development of the North American Engineering & Planning Center of the Volkswagen brand in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Since starting at the company in 2003, he has also held various management positions at Audi as well as Audi of America. From 2008, he was the office manager for the supervisory board of Volkswagen AG in Salzburg.
New Models for Emden
The employees of the North Sea plant presented more than 30 projects to the executive board and works council during the site symposium. The focus was on increasing productivity and the highest quality standards in order to produce additional models in the future.
With the Arteon shooting brake, a coupe with a hatchback and even more usable space, Emden is getting another model. In addition, the entire Passat family will be bundled on the North Sea coast. What is certain is that production of the Arteon for the US market will begin this year. Head of Production Andreas Tostmann says, “The new models will result in optimum utilization of the site. Combined with increased productivity and quality, this will ensure Volkswagen Emden’s competitiveness, completely in the spirit of the Pact for the Future.”
More Stories of the plant symposium in Emden, Wolfsburg, Zwickau, Braunschweig and Salzgitter read here.
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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.
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