Volkswagen Group Chief Herbert This has no easy stand these days. With the works council, there is a thong because of a statement for job reduction, in China, the electric car strategy only sluggishes, semiconductors will continue to be scarpled. And then there is still the all-encompassing topic: the urgent transformation into a purely electrical and digital automaker. In an interview at the Handelsblatt Auto Summit 2021 explained how he wants to tackle all these challenges.
“We are in a great transformation we need to change dramatically,” says this. It is comprehensible that the “worried makes the employees, worry about their own workplace. […] But we have to drive the company to drive, change, “says the VW-CEO. “Structures broken up and new forms of cooperation” have to be found. However, the “necessity of change” is not always available to all. These discussions “in the end, however, lead to future security for jobs,” says this. It would be much more dangerous to run things as so far.
This is “really glad that from the Volkswagen brand now come good news – with the construction of the new development center and with the new factory in Wolfsburg as part of the Trinity project”. Of course there will have to give a job reduction, but “not primary”. At a location like Wolfsburg “with tens of thousands of jobs” However, VW must be “set on that we get new competitors”. Like Tesla in Brandenburg, where “worked with very different lead times and with a high productivity”. Tesla needs a good ten hours to produce a model 3. VW is currently about 30 hours for its electric cars. Too much, this is.
“We have to set that. For this we need new skills and need to question things. This leads to necessary discussions, especially at such a traditional location like Wolfsburg, “says this. At the end of 2016, VW with the future pact “the socially acceptable degradation of 23.000 jobs agreed in Germany, but at the same time 9,000 new jobs arise, “the VW-CEO expects. This process continues to be in progress. There are now a general rethinking: “We have to become faster, we have to act”.
Currently “particularly important” is that the sales of electric cars in the world’s largest car market attract China. The start of the ID models was not as hoped for there. “But there is now a positive development, in the last few months we win market shares,” says this. Volkswagen lasted the sales figures almost every two months and the sales target of 80.000 to 100.000 electric vehicles have been moved to tangible proximity despite the initial problems. “We still have to develop the Chinese electric market, but that will succeed us,” shows this confident.
VW relies on its own software and its own chip design
For his own software, Volkswagen had to fight with initial problems. And here, too, this is now “positive”, especially since he could test the latest software version for the ID electric series. It is great to experience the VW cars “as a digital device. Faster shop is possible, an automatic lane change comes to it. This is a milestone that such changes have now become possible, even if the cars are already in customer hand “, so in the interview via over-the-air updates, with which cars can be extended by additional functions even after delivery.
A difficult topic is still the chip deficiency, the burner and electric cars equally concerned and be “difficult predictable”. This hopes “that the situation will improve in the next year from quarter to quarter to highlight production to the usual level”. In order to better secure yourself in the future, VW is currently working on its own chip design, where there is “good progress”. For the first time, the self-developed semiconductors in 2026 are to be used in a vehicle: the then brand new electric flagship Trinity.
The new chips “will be very vehicle-specific”, this announces. Today’s semiconductors come to large parts of the CONSUMER ELECTRIC area or telecommunications. That also explain the defect: “We have to share the existing chip quantities with other industries. With its own chips tailored to the car industry, we can also achieve other competitive advantages, “says this.
“I find such a confession very good first”
This also leads to reasons why Volkswagen did not joined the initiative of several automakers on the Climate Summit in Glasgow, to be completely emission-free by 2035. “I find such a commitment very well,” says this. And within the Group there are already similar obligations. Porsche and Audi about “electrify very fast”, which is “typical of the premium area”.
In the volume segment of Volkswagen, however, markets such as Latin America and Russia must also be operated, “where the electrification in the first step is not so meaningful” be: “In Latin America, for example, we have synthetic fuel from renewable raw materials, very established and CO2-free. It would not be particularly useful there, now quickly to change electro cars, not ecologically, “explains this. The conversion towards CO2 freedom must be implemented regionally “synchronously with the ecosystems”.
That’s why this does not want to specify when the world’s last burner is running from VW. It could also be “2035 even useful to drive in Latin America with renewable raw materials car, and you need to burn there,” said the VW CEO. But this is “certainly not for Europe and Germany: VW and Audi will certainly be fully electrical at this time,” says this.
An exit of the German auto industry from the combustion technology already in 2030 does this for “not feasible”. The big challenge are the many battery factories: “The raw materials have to procure new mines”. That’s “already an incredibly tense program”, and the EU’s Green Deal is “very demanding”. Maybe “the chance to achieve that when politics and business move synchronously to these goals”. However, this is not off “that we can become even faster”.
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