Volkswagen Creates BEV-Specific Division

JAN 21 2016 BY MARK KANE 39

2016 Volkswagen e-Golf

2016 Volkswagen e-Golf

Volkswagen announced a change in its vehicle development organization.

There will be four new organizational groups – three split by model size, and the fourth being a special group to gather all BEVs (pure electric cars regardless of size).

Extraction of all-electric cars from normal divisions seems like a higher priority/special attention is being given for plug-in cars.

The press release mentions the BUDD-e concept car presented at the 2016 CES as a example of future long-range electric models coming.

“Cross-functional collaboration will be strengthened as a result: from the concept to the end of the life-cycle for any given model, the responsibility for technology, quality, cost and deadline compliance, and the responsibility for cost-effectiveness, now clearly lie in one hand for the first time. Until now, these responsibilities were distributed across different divisions and differentiated into individual models groups as well.

The new organisation bundles the competencies into four series groups containing several model series:

VW BUDD-e Concept AT CES 2016 (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

VW BUDD-e Concept AT CES 2016 (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

1. Small: The small vehicles group such as up! and Polo includes saloon cars as well as small SUVs in future and is headed up by Klaus-Gerhard Wolpert (59), who has led product management for the Volkswagen brand and the Group since 2010.

2. Compact: Also known as the Golf-class group, this group ranges from hatchback and notchback saloon cars and estate cars to SUVs. Karlheinz Hell (52), who has been Group Purchasing Manager for Electrics/ Electronics at Volkswagen since 2014, takes over the management.

3. Mid- and Full-size: This product portfolio ranges from the Passat to the Sharan, and the future mid-size SUV to the Touareg, and is headed up by Dr Elmar-Marius Licharz (45) who has led Product Controlling at Volkswagen AG for Volkswagen brand since 2010.

4. BEV: Battery Electric Vehicles are already present in the brand in the form of e-up!* and e-Golf**. E-vehicles with a greater range will follow in the next step to be developed in this group. The BUDD-e concept car presented at the 2016 CES represents an example of this. The BEV series group is headed up by Christian Senger (41), who comes to Volkswagen from Continental AG, where he led the Automotive Systems and Technology division.

A newly created Strategy and Products Division will also act as a strong partner in supporting each manager responsible for the various series. The responsibilities here will include the definition of life-cycles and coordination of major product events.”

Chairman of the Board of Management Dr Herbert Diess emphasizes:

“We have to ensure that the corporate responsibility for each vehicle project is clearly assigned. We expect these changes to yield an acceleration boost in development. This step represents a core element of ‘New Volkswagen’, the new strategic direction of our brand.”

“This allows us to provide clear structures and responsibilities, which carve out more time for the workforce to focus on their core tasks. Personal responsibility, initiative and team-spirit will be strengthened as a result,” states Dr Herbert Diess, explaining the new structure in its role as a core element for the change in culture at Volkswagen.”

“At the same time, the concern here is one of adapting to future requirements arising from progressive digitization, electric mobility and changing customer needs. Diess: “The new series organisation allows a robust product portfolio to be created that is fit for the future, because it strengthens cooperation across all functions hence increasing the profitability of the brand.”

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39 Comments on "Volkswagen Creates BEV-Specific Division"

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Probably get their own lunch table, too

But of course.

Create all you want VW. Deliver the BUDD-e concept with 200+ mi. range before the model 3 Tesla hits the streets. That would impress those Diesel Gate prosecuter types!

The BEV-only division could be a good thing, in concentrating those execs and employees who are really dedicated to producing electric cars, as opposed to the gasmobiles which compose most of VW’s production.

Or it could be a bad thing, if the new division and all its employees are treated as pariahs within the company.

It all depends on what atmosphere those in upper management decide to create, what attitude they project, for BEV manufacturing.

Anyway, here’s hoping this leads to VW putting more BEVs into production, and doing so faster. I also hope this leads to VW building compelling BEVs, and not just creating more compromise vehicles. A car designed to have either an ICEV or an EV powertrain put into it, probably will not perform in either configuration very well. Compelling EVs are designed from the ground up.


Die VolksVolts






+1 LOL


Maybe they are thinking that, since the new division won’t have any dealers, they could sell it direct in every state where it is legal to sell a Tesla. That would also keep their dealers who don’t want to sell EV’s from trying to discouraging sales.

It is unlikely that VW, even an EV division of it, could qualify as if they had no dealers to ‘protect’ by the normal franchising laws!

Now if say, VW partnered with Nissan and BYD, that they could create a new company to strictly work EV’s, maybe that company could sell direct just as Tesla does, but I don’t see VW getting a pass just because they set up a different division in house.

I think they are realizing that their idea of creating multi-drivetrain cars is not going to work.

It definitely had a logic to it . . . create a chassis & body that is capable of having an ICE, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, pure EV, fuel cell, or natural gas drivetrain installed in it. This reduces the number of different parts needed.

However, it has become clear that if you want to build a compelling LONG RANGE EV, you really need a dedicated EV design from the ground up in order to properly fit a large battery into it.






If it means VW will bring a non-compliance BEV to the market soon, great.

I wish VW would have formed a BEV division 5 years ago but…

My thought exactly, love the eGolf 🙂

I know it’s only a concept, but BUDD-e is a silly name and it’s not much of a looker either. Even now they don’t look like they’re even really trying.

On the good side, this should help with creating all new dedicated EV vehicles.

On the bad side, this will “Silo” the EV efforts away from the rest of the company, and will make all of their proposed electrified versions of their gas cars harder to do.

EV Silo: “Hey, why doesn’t our battery fit anymore?”

ICE Silo: “Oh, did anybody tell you we changed the suspension, and relocated the shocks?”

EV Silo: “No, we only meet with you guys on every 4th Friday. Nobody told us. We are going to have to completely redesign our battery pack around the new suspension, unless you guys change your design to fit our battery pack. We don’t have any time scheduled to redesign the battery pack.”

ICE Silo: “We don’t have any time scheduled to redesign the suspension. We already redesigned it, we’re not changing it.”


I think the point is that they are going to stop trying to build cars that can be stuffed with either an ICE or EV drivetrain. Dedicated EV designs.

At least that is what I hope it means.

I call this the Tesla Effect.

Think clean-sheet long-range compelling EV designs with skateboard architecture/batteries in the floor. Also, DC fast-charging, more and more increased connectivity/OTH updates, large configurable touchscreens, etc.

The bolt is the first real example of this emerging paradigm shift in the complacent auto industry.

IOW, Tesla/Musk’s plan is working.

I hope you are right.

But if that is the plan, they should tell their marketing folks who are in charge of all their press releases. They’ve been spamming us with future plans of electrifying all their ICE models ever since the diesel emissions scam hit the fan.

Did we all lose the right to comment on future articles? Are we that rough of an audience? 😉

If you are talking about the Fiat 500e sales report…then yes.

Although it isn’t you…apparently its us, comment function seems to be ‘down for the count’ on that one particular story. All the stories thereafter are fine.

+1 on Voltswagen

I wish all auto companies would do this and then have EV only dealerships.

Das durch einen Stromschlag töten Auto!

prototypes are nice, but… the future is Never something that can be pinned down.. I want to see the production model and read a review of how it drives before I’d consider one (or even believing VW can be trusted.) And Most Definitely advise VW NOT to use their ICE dealerships or come up with a very different relationship to dealers, if they are serious about succeeding!!!

btw +2 on Voltswagen
and a vote for Die VolksVolts

Maybe they vould like to sell direct maybe, hmmmm?

More propaganda from the propaganda master. Assign a part time resource to a manager and all of a sudden it’s a dedicated department designed to change the face of the company.
Keep an eye on the ball. Still no resolution for the 600,000 cars creating 40x the legal pollution limit in the USA.
Still selling the e-Golf in Compliance States.
All of these “concept” cars are shown with NO commitment made in bringing any BEV to mass market.
This is more VW PR. I will give VW one thing, they are very good at propaganda.


Das VaporWagen!

I wonder why then Audi has still its own EV activities ? Maybe to find out which organization succeeds better. If I were VW and I were about to reorganize the EV business, I would create a new brand for all EV issues throughout the whole company and thus benefit from synergy effects. This could also assure to have qualified personnel in sales and service. Name the brand “Horch”, or “Auto Union”, or “eVW” in order to show the association to the VW mother company.

The idea of splitting plug-in hybrids from pure BEVs is interesting. I’m assuming that they will move forward with their plans to have plug-in hybrid versions of many of their models. I wonder if the E-Up and E-Golf will stay with the Compact division and the BEV division will only deal with long range BEVs.