Posted 02.01.16 in News by Steve
The Volkswagen brand has restructured its vehicle development organization. The new development structure is grouped into four vehicle types: battery electric, small cars, compact vehicles, and mid- and full-size vehicles. Battery Electric Vehicles will be headed up by Christian Senger, who moves to VW from parts supplier Continental AG. Other development groups include: Small Cars like the Polo and Up!, headed by Product Management Chief Klaus-Gerhard Wolpert; Compact Vehicles like the Golf will be developed by Electrical Systems Purchasing Manager Kalheinz Hell; and Mid- and Full-Size Vehicles like the Passat and Touareg will be led by Product Control Chief Dr. Elmar-Marius Licharz.
The restructuring is part of cost-savings measures put in place by Volkswagen Passenger Cars CEO Herbert Diess who plans to cut investments at the automaker by $1 billion euros ($1.4 billion U.S.) per year compared with previous targets while at the same time speeding up efforts to increase future cost savings.
It is interesting that the battery EV group and the compact car group has been divided since VW's e-Golf falls into both categories. Volkswagen developed the e-Golf's battery, motor and transmission in house and the components are manufactured at a Volkswagen factory in Germany. The development of a group focused on battery EVs could signal sped up development of more all-electric models. Volkswagen has already announced that the 2017 e-Golf will feature an improved battery pack giving the hatchback approximately 25 additional miles of range making it competitive with the extended range Nissan Leaf. VW also showed a concept plug-in variant of its second-generation Tiguan crossover SUV at the Frankfort Auto Show.
Another sign of Volkswagen Group's commitment to electrification was VW CEO Matthias Müller's statements during Volkswagen’s New Year’s reception in Brussels confirming the German automaker will "introduce about 20 additional models with electrical or plug-in hybrid drive trains by 2020."
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