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.
Golfs were sold by the brand last year. That makes the model, built primarily in Wolfsburg, the Group’s bestselling car. This is followed exclusively by cars from our brand in second to sixth place: the Jetta, Tiguan, Polo, Passat and Lavida.
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
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