Industrial engineer takes over at VW brand boss.
VW has announced a significant management shakeup, illustrating the scale of its electrification strategy and challenges in this regard.
Herbert Diess is no longer CEO of both the VW Group and brand. As VW prepares to dominate the global market for electric vehicles, complexities are surging.
Although Diess has proven to be one of the more agile global automotive CEOs, with an excellent understanding of issues facing his industry and its struggles to transform, the workload has become unsustainable.
VW’s board has announced that Diess will retain his position as VW Group CEO, managing the broad strategic aims and cooperation between its various brands, but relinquish is responsibilities for all things Golf.
Ralf Brandstaetter will become the new CEO of VW, guiding the brand through its most challenging period. VW is attempting to become a technology leader in both battery vehicle technology and software integration.
The company has experienced issues with software development on its forthcoming Golf 8. As VW’s future model range relies more on electrical control systems and data management, it will require improved programming resources.
Brandstaetter’s responsibility is to ensure that the delivery of electric vehicles and integrated technologies happen without delays or customer dissatisfaction.
An industrial engineer by training, Ralf Brandstaetter has been with VW since 1993. He initially specialised as a metal sourcing specialist, before becoming a procurement expert for chassis and powertrain.
The task that Brandstaetter faces is massive. VW has huge cost escalations to manage. Diess has projected that VW’s investment in electric vehicle architecture, battery sourcing and autonomous driving technologies might balloon to R1.5 trillion.
Production savings are crucial in managing that budgeted number. Within the entire VW Group, it is far easier to save money with cost management at a volume brand, like VW, than Porsche, Bentley or Lamborghini. And that will be Brandstaetter’s new mission as CEO.